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ANNUAL INSIDER POLL RANKS AREA FAVES

DOG HANGOUTS, SPORTS, SPAS, BREWS, HOTELS, MUSIC, ETC.

26 CHIHULY & GLASS FINE ARTS & CRAFTS

WESTERN & WILD, MURALS & LOCALS

32

HOT CUISINE ROOFTOP DINING TO BEACH EATS, GROUPER, GELATO, GASTROPUB

58

35 MILES OF WHITE SAND BLISS 14 | NIGHTLIFE 76 | MUSIC + MORE 82


MAKE YOUR NEXT GETAWAY

EFFORTLESS ELEGANCE

3400 Gulf Boulevard St. Pete Beach FL 33706 800.282.1116 DONCESAR.COM\G2B


A NEW LOOK AT THE BEACH A GRAND VIEW FROM THE BEST BEACH IN AMERICA Welcome to the new Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach Offering 343 guestrooms, come experience America’s #1 Beach, as rated by Trip Advisor’s 2018 Traveler’s Choice Awards, with views of the Gulf of Mexico and Intracoastal Waterway. Indulge in the tranquil Pallavi Spa and waterfront dining at our signature restaurant, Ocean Hai, the only Asian-fusion cuisine on Clearwater Beach. Make your reservation today at WyndhamGrandClearwater.com or call us at 727-281-9500, referencing rate code HTBB20. Rates start at $199 per night.

100 Coronado Dr, Clearwater, FL 33767


CONTENTS HONEYMOON ISLAND

STATE PARK

CALADESI ISLAND STATE

wild Vibe: naturally family fun, wildlife Go here for: trail, 2.5mi nature viewing, Explore take ferry to bike/kayak rental, Caladesi Island

PASS-A-GRILLE BEACH TREASURE ISLAND

PARK

d getaway Vibe: unspoile 3 mile escapist beach, , Go here for: t boat mooring nature trail, overnigh viewing, no wildlife kayaking trail, only access roads fun, boat

MILES OF THE MOST. 35 ON OUR COAST WITH MEETS TURF EXPLORE THE WHERE SURF SUN AND FUN, BEACHES SUGAR-WHITE

BEACHES GUIDE MADEIRA BEACH

SAND KEY

beaches

BELLEAIR

BELLEAIR SHORES BEACH, BELLEAIR BLUFFS,

neighborhood hotspot for Vibe: exclusive , quiet getaway, pristine beaches Go here for: second homes

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH

ARTS

The area’s most beautiful sights can be found in our museums, galleries and on the streets.

32

8 WELCOME 10 BY THE NUMBERS 12 TAMPA BAY 14 PLANNING 15 MAP

4 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S

& INDIAN SHORES

y Florida charm Vibe: old-time acess points, plentiful beach Go here for: t dining at family funky bars, laid back waterfron neighboorhood restaurants and beach cottages

NIGHTLIFE island getaway Vibe: remote unspoiled nature, Go here for: eys, boating, multiple islands/k , beach activites, primitive camping wildlife viewing

Our all-new fold-out guide to 35 miles of white-sand bliss will make planning your visit a day at the beach. NORTH REDINGTON BEACH AND REDINGTON SHORES,

fun Vibe: quiet and low key Go here for: to Clearwater relaxation close Key Park, Beach, Sand rentals, wide bicycle/kayak

is a plus Vibe: no fuss America’s best Go here for: TripAdvisor beaches (#7, rts, bars, waterspo 2018), beach roof top dining, waterfront and resorts, shopping

REDINGTON BEACH

and waterside dining beaten path botique resorts, Vibe: off the 3 miles of beach, popular for second homes Go here for: for neighborhoods taverns, quiet

DINING

Check out more than 50 restaurants from waterside dining to local classics to upscale.

58

26 BESTIES 42 NATURE 46 SHOPPING 48 MARKETS 50 LGBT

FORT DE SOTO PARK of adventure fort, Vibe: islands family fun, historic Go here for: to Egmont Key, t pier fishing, ferry e tunnels, waterfronof kayak mangrov rblade 7 miles camping, bike/rolle beach, boating paved trail, dog

SHELL KEY

ST. PETE BEACH

to the Gulf Vibe: geteway John’s Pass Village Go here for: of lk, multitude and Boardwa ski trips, boat/jet shops, fishing restaurants rentals, seafood

CLEARWATER BEACH

and more Vibe: It’s all that, America’s best Go here for: or 2018), beach (#1 TripAdvis luxury class family fun, world dining, daily t resorts, waterfron fishing off ons, sunset celebrati Pier 60

beauty 8th Vibe: laid-back peace and quiet, Go here for: g district, welcomin ferry Ave. historic beachside dining, neighborhood, Shell Keys, fishing to Egmont and

Florida beach Vibe: classic John’s Pass Village Go here for: lk LGBT friendly and Boardwa circle, sunset drum Sunset Beach, beach resorts, old-timey lodging, bars, wide waterfront beach boardwalk beaches, beach

EGMONT KEY nature Vibe: pristine e, scenic lighthous Go here for: snorkeling, old wildlife viewing, forest fort ruins, palm

Experience downtown St. Pete's vibrant nightlife and mix of local bars to complement any mood.

76

SPORTS

St. Pete/Clearwater's ideal weather is exciting for athletes and sports fans alike.

90

52 FERRIES 68 BREWERIES 72 VINTAGE 82 LIVE MUSIC 86 ROMANCE

WATER

Parasail along the beaches, paddleboard in the bay, kayak mangroves or dive shipwrecks.

22

OUR TOWNS

Explore our collection of eclectic, amazing small towns and take in all the Gulf Coast has to offer.

16

94 PETS 98 BUSINESS 102 AQUARIUM 106 EVENTS 111 OUR SCENE


GULF TO BAY

HOME OF AMERICA'S BEST BEACHES. VisitStPeteClearwater.com

OFFICES OF VISIT ST. PETE/CLEARWATER North American Office, 8200 Bryan Dairy Road, Suite 200, Largo, FL 33777 USA 727-464-7200 or 877-352-3224 Central European Office, Postfach 1806, D-61288 Bad Homburg, Germany +49 (0) 6172-38 80 94 80 or info@VisitSPC.de United Kingdom Office, Link House, 140 The Broadway, Tolworth, Surrey KT67JE England, 020 8339 6121

VisitTheUSA com

CONNECT WITH US Facebook.com/ VisitStPeteClearwater Be inspired with live broadcasts from America’s Best Beaches, brilliant sunsets and the area’s biggest events. Twitter.com/VSPC Follow @VSPC to stay in the loop on the area’s latest happenings and fun giveaways to sporting events, concerts and more. YouTube.com/ VisitStPeteClearwater Want to explore the destination in 360˚? Fly high above the Gulf of Mexico, ride horses on the beach and speed around a racetrack with new immersive video experiences.

This issue of the St. Pete/Clearwater destination magazine is published by Visit St. Pete/Clearwater in partnership with the Tampa Bay Times, 490 First Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 USA, 727-893-8535. Gulf To Bay magazine is printed and distributed by Newspaper Printing Company located in Tampa, Florida. npcprinting.com

General Manager Chris Galbraith Art Director Nikki Life Designers Nikki Life, Marcus Oania Photo Editor Patty Yablonski Photography Douglas Clifford, Jim Damaske, Eve Edelheit, Boyzell Hosey, Tailyr Irvine, Scott R. Keeler, Aubrey Meiling, Marcus Oania, John Pendygraft, Jacob Pierce, Lance Rothstein, Luis Santana, Dirk Shadd, Chris Urso, Bronte Wittpenn, Patty Yablonski, Chris Zuppa Writers Mimi Andelman, Stephanie Hayes, Don Lee, Nikki Life, Laura Reiley Imaging Brian Baracani

Instagram.com/VSPC Explore St. Pete/Clearwater one glorious photo at a time. Best part? Our most popular filter is no filter. #LiveAmplified

ON THE COVER ANNUAL INSIDER POLL RANKS AREA FAVES

DOG HANGOUTS, SPORTS, SPAS, BREWS, HOTELS, MUSIC, ETC.

26

Pinterest.com/VSPC We’ve collected the best of the best, from top hotels to best sunset spots to tasty restaurants. Go ahead and pin your favorites to your own boards!

CHIHULY & GLASS FINE ARTS & CRAFTS

WESTERN & WILD, MURALS & LOCALS

32

HOT CUISINE ROOFTOP DINING TO BEACH EATS, GROUPER, GELATO, GASTROPUB

58

35 MILES OF WHITE SAND BLISS 14 | NIGHTLIFE 76 | MUSIC + MORE 82

6 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S

We’re spoiled here in St. Pete/Clearwater because we begin our days with breathtaking sunrises on Tampa Bay, then bid the day farewell with mind-blowing sunsets on the Gulf of Mexico. Our cover image this year captures one of those glorious moments, but we’re not saying which it is. You’ll have to come see for yourself.


WELCOME TO YOUR FAVORITE VACATION,

we saved you a seat.

Whether you’re ready to enjoy a world-class sunset with your toes in the sand, glide across the Gulf of Mexico on a paddleboard or take your taste buds on a tropical tour – we’ve got the perfect spot. With more things to see and do on our stretch of St. Pete Beach than anywhere else on Florida’s west coast, you have front row seats to all the action!

Book Direct and Save JustLetGo.com/FLBCH | 877.300.5527 JustLetGo.com


WELCOME

PARADISE FOUND

8 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S


WELCOME TO THE AMERICAN TROPICS • The sugar-sand beaches of St. Pete/Clearwater — 35 miles of sun-drenched beauty, thrilling adventures and unsurpassed relaxation — cozy up to the warm, gentle waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Our pristine beaches are a wonderland for all. • Swim, surf, parasail or jet ski. Rent a boat and navigate your own adventure. Our natural ambassadors — dolphins, manatees, soaring pelicans and more — will delight. • When the sun goes down, enjoy nightclubs and music venues. Savor craft cocktails, flowing local microbrews and incredible restaurants. • Don’t miss extraordinary shopping, from boutiques to street markets. There are world-class museums at the Dalí Museum and the Chihuly Collection. • Watch Major League Baseball action with the Tampa Bay Rays and soccer with the Tampa Bay Rowdies. And the kids already know they want to see movie stars Winter and Hope, the dolphins at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. • Paradise found? You bet. And it’s all waiting for your arrival.


600

BY THE NUMBERS

FEET UP WHILE PARASAILING OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO

FUN IN THE

FESTIVAL ATTENDEES AT ST. PETE PRIDE, THE LARGEST PRIDE CELEBRATION IN FLORIDA

150

SUM

SPECIES OF PALMS AND CYCADS AT THE GIZELLA KOPSICK PALM ARBORETUM IN ST. PETE

A SNAPSHOT OF ST. PETE/CLEARWATER

1,080

250,000

1,190

LENGTH IN FE ET OF PIER 60 IN CLEARWATER BEACH

42

SLIPPERY FEET YOU’LL DESCEND ON THE WATERSLIDE AT SPLASH HARBOUR WATER PARK IN INDIAN ROCKS BEACH

81˚

AVERAGE YEAR-ROUND TEMPERATURE

2,400˚F

HOW HOT GLASS MUST BE TO SHAPE IT AT THE MOREAN ARTS CENTER GLASS STUDIO

40+

CRAFT IES BREWER E/ T IN ST. PE ER AT CLEARW

10 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S

WEIGHT IN POUNDS OF THE AVERAGE MANATEE

4

CHAMPIONSHIPLEVEL COURSES AT INNISBROOK RESORT AND GOLF CLUB IN PALM HARBOR

35

2

BEACHES RANKED ON TRIPADVISOR’S 2018 LIST OF BEST U.S. BEACHES (CLEARWATER BEACH #1 & ST. PETE BEACH #7)

1MILLION VISITORS EVERY YEAR TO HONEYMOON ISLAND STATE PARK IN DUNEDIN

MILES OF WHITE-SAND BEACHES


                   

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THE BAY AREA

THIS IS s the most popular tourism destination on the American Gulf Coast, the St. Pete/Clearwater area is the Jewel of Tampa Bay, a region defined by a trio of major cities: St. Petersburg to the south, Clearwater to the west and Tampa to the east. Though each has their own distinct vibe, collectively they form the bones of a region that is quickly becoming an international contender, with two international airports (and some 20 daily nonstops to NYC), a dynamic and diverse local economy, a subtropical coastal climate and an enviable Central Gulf Coast location just 90 miles from Orlando-area theme parks. Millions of visitors arrive each year, a growing number of them adding to the area’s 3 million residents that place Tampa Bay among the Top 20 metro areas in the U.S. Though technically an island, the St. Pete/Clearwater area is officially situated on what’s called the Pinellas Peninsula, bounded on one side by the Gulf of Mexico and the other by Tampa Bay. With more people per square mile than Miami, it’s the most densely populated area in the state. But don’t let that fool you: From Caladesi Island in the north to Fort De Soto Park in the south, visitors can find wide expanses of gleaming white sands and absolute solitude any time of year. The peninsula is home to some two dozen distinct communities, from the Greek spongefishing enclave of Tarpon Springs and Celtic-tinged Dunedin in the north to small-town Safety Harbor mid-peninsula, to Madeira Beach, Indian Rocks Beach and a string of other beach towns along 35 miles of barrier islands, all the way down to artsy/oddball Gulfport on Boca Ciega Bay.

ST. PETERSBURG THE ‘BURG

12 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S

Downtown St. Petersburg – St. Pete or “The ’Burg” to locals — is the area’s cultural heart, with iconic museums (Dalí, Chihuly, Museum of Fine Arts, James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art, Imagine Museum, and more on the way), a mix of gleaming new condos and historic neighborhoods and a stretch of public parks lining the bay that many say give it a distinctly European flair — particularly in the spring, when the city comes alive with Grand Prix racing in the streets. The city that holds the Guinness record for most consecutive sunny days (768) is also home to the highest concentration of nightlife and dining establishments in the entire region, ranging from velvet-roped rooftop cabana bars to stately verandas in historic hotels to trendy open-air spots with see-andbe-seen sidewalk seating. Its mix of residents and visitors gets more diverse each year – particularly with an upscale international crowd looking for a fresh alternative to the crush of humanity that flocks to South Florida. It’s for these reasons and more – such as the burgeoning craft beer and brewery scene – that The New York Times recently placed the Sunshine City on its list of “52 Places to Go in the World.”


CLEARWATER THE BEACH If St. Pete is the cultural center, then Clearwater is the perfect complement: a well-thoughtout resort town where gleaming new hotels and mom-and-pop motels stand side-by-side on some of the most spectacular beachfront in the entire state. From USA Today to Time magazine to Conde Nast and TripAdvisor’s No. 1 Beach in the U.S. for 2018, Clearwater Beach is routinely placed on “Best Of” lists the world over – and with good reason: more than a decade ago, to complement the area’s natural beauty, forward-thinking city officials adopted a “beach-by-design” initiative that led to the construction of Beach Walk, a pedestrian-friendly promenade that runs the entire length of the beach, acting as a sort of linear Central Park and giving the entire resort area an intimate yet open feel. With frequent public transit and golf-cart cabs galore, visitors to the area really don’t need a car during their visit — a rarity for any Florida town. The city comes alive year-round with activities of all kinds, from offshore power boat races to the Clearwater Jazz Holiday to restaurant weeks, chalk art competitions, the massive Sugar Sand Festival, Olympic-qualifying sailing regattas and more. Add to this mix the much-loved Clearwater Marine Aquarium, whose most famous resident starred in the Dolphin Tale films, and you have a Florida beach experience like no other.

TAMPA THE BIZ Across any of three bridges lies Tampa, the state's third-largest city, with a dynamic business climate and a rich pre-Colombian history that traces back to the Tocobaga, Calusa and other Native American tribes that once lived in the area. Other historic influences include Henry Plant’s railroad, which established new trade opportunities with its opening in 1884, followed closely by the development of the city as a cigar-manufacturing powerhouse, vestiges of which can still be seen in historic Ybor City. Today, the city enjoys a growing international reputation for its port (the largest in Florida) and its cruise ship terminal — most popular for western Caribbean cruises on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and NCL — as well as its professional sports teams: the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning (MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays play across the bay in St. Pete). Gasparilla, a pirate-themed Mardi-Gras festival, is one of the social highlights of the year, complete with an invasion of costumed marauders on the Hillsborough River downtown. Tampa recently saw the groundbreaking of Water Street, a massive $3 billion mixeduse development that will double the footprint of downtown by its completion in 2027. Busch Gardens, a 20-minute drive north of downtown, hosts theme park enthusiasts from all over the world, wowing with cutting-edge coasters.

V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 13


PLANNING YOUR TRIP WEATHER They say all you need to bring is a swimsuit. But no matter what time of year you come here, do pack sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat and UV-protective sunglasses. Remember to always drink plenty of water. In late spring and summer, light, casual clothes work best. Fall and winter temperatures vary from mild to cool, so determine in advance of your visit whether shorts and sandals are still in season or if it’s time to pack a light jacket and pants. We hold a Guinness World Records title for the longest run of sunshine (768 days, from February 1967 to March 1969), but temperatures can range from the low 50s to the high 90s.

GOOD TO KNOW

HIGH 70F 21C

LOW 55F 13C

SPRING (MARCH-MAY) HIGH 80F 27C

LOW 65F 18C

LOW 76F 24C

FALL (SEPT-NOV) HIGH 83F 28C

LOW 70F 21C

AVERAGE WATER TEMPS WINTER 63F • 17C

SUMMER 85F • 29C

SPRING 74F • 23C

FALL 77F • 25C

14 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S

Tampa International Airport (TPA) Just 30-45 minutes from beachfront accommodations, Tampa International provides numerous airlines and flights to choose from, as well as convenient shuttles from the gates to the terminal. 4100 George J. Bean Parkway, Tampa 33607, tampaairport.com or 813-870-8700

Clearwater Ferry clearwaterferry.com Visit Clearwater Beach using this water taxi service. Free parking available and stops along North Beach and Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Coast Bike Share coastbikeshare.com Borrow a bicycle from Coast Bike Share to explore downtown St. Pete. There are hundreds of bicycles at dozens of stations along the downtown waterfront, the Central Avenue corridor and nearby areas. You can rent from one station and return to any other.

VisitStPeteClearwater.com Check out our website for hotel rates and availability, maps, events, videos and tons of ideas for things to do on your next trip to St. Pete/Clearwater. All the planning information you need is just a few clicks away. The “deals” link helps you find ways to save money, and our email newsletter helps you stay current on news and events. Our videos will give you a preview of the fun in store, and our search and book direct features make planning, comparing and booking easy. Find local info on the go at VisitStPeteClearwater.com, from hot deals to listings for restaurants, hotels, attractions, things to do and more.

SUMMER (JUNE-AUG) HIGH 90F 32C

St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) Offering low fares and small crowds, the airport puts you close to beaches. 14700 Terminal Blvd., Clearwater 33762, fly2pie.com or 727-453-7800

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

AVERAGE AIR TEMPS WINTER (DEC-FEB)

BY AIR

INTERNATIONAL VISITORS Find helpful resources on the following specialized websites: Habla español? Para narraciones y sugerencias de viaje en español, incluyendo información sobre restaurantes, vida nocturna y recreacion al aire libre, vaya a VisitStPeteClearwater.com/es Allí también encontrará relatos sobre playas, paseos en kayaks y actividades culturales en el área. Fala Português? Para sugestões em Português, incluindo informação sobre restaurantes, vida noturna e atividades ao ar livre, por favor navegar no VisitStPeteClearwater.com/br Encontrarar também informações sobre praias, passeio de kayaks e atividades culturais em nosso destino. Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Deutsch sprechende Besucher haben ihre eigene Website mit ausgewählten attraktiven Aktivitäten. Information uber die Strände, Wanderungen und Naturlehrpfade, sowie Artikel über Kunst und Kultur der Gegend sind bei VisitStPeteClearwater.com/de

Jolley Trolley clearwaterjolleytrolley.com The Trolley operates daily on Clearwater Beach. The Coastal Route also operates daily between Clearwater Beach and downtown Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor and Tarpon Springs. Passes can be purchased. Looper loopertrolley.com The St. Petersburg Trolley Downtown Looper route connects visitors to all major destinations within the city for a small fee, including the Chamber Visitor Center and the major museums. Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority psta.net The PSTA is the public transit provider in Pinellas County, serving the St. Pete/Clearwater area, including Tampa. Suncoast Beach Trolley psta.net/beachtrolley The Trolley allows visitors to explore the beach communities along Gulf Boulevard. Exact fare is required. The Cross-Bay Ferry thecrossbayferry.com This high-speed ferry connects downtown St. Pete to downtown Tampa via the calm waters of Tampa Bay. Docks are located at St. Pete's Vinoy Basin in St. Pete and the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. Operates seasonally from November until April. Uber uber.com Travel locally with the popular ride-sharing service Uber. Download the app and connect with a ride in minutes.

BRING YOUR OWN BOAT Come with your own boat or rent one to tour the shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico and Intracoastal Waterway. For boat rentals and ramps, go to VisitSPC.com/Boating


TARPON AVE.

1

DUNEDIN

CURLEW RD.

19 580

Dunedin Stadium

KEENE RD.

STARKEY RD.

49TH ST.

66TH ST.

ALT

TREASURE ISLAND CSWY

WA

RD

FRA

NK

LA

CENTRAL AVE.

22

1ST AVE. S

Tropicana Field

Y.

W

CS

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BRI

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TAMPA

• Busch Gardens • The Florida Aquarium • International Plaza • ZooTampa at Lowry Park • The Museum of Science & Industry • Port of Tampa • Raymond James Stadium

E

Weedon Island Preserve

Sunken Gardens/ Great Explorations

1ST ST.

Holocaust Coliseum Museum 23B Imagine Museum 1ST AVE. N

15TH AVE. S

DY

ND

E

5TH AVE. S

Museum of Fine Arts/Straub Park St. Petersburg Museum of History The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art Al Lang Stadium Mahaffey Theater The Dali Museum

Albert Whitted Municipal Airport Morean Arts Center/Chihuly Collection

9TH ST. 6TH ST.

Lake Maggiore Carter-Woodson African-American

TIERRA VERDE

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Fort De Soto

FORT DE SOTO PARK

History Museum

Tampa Bay

19

679

SHELL KEY

EGMONT KEY

39

G RID

40TH AVE.

5TH AVE. N

Dolphin Gulfport Racer Historical18TH AVE. S TANGERINE AVE. Museum StarLite 22ND AVE. S LAKEVIEW AVE. 19 Sapphire Corey Gulfport GULFPORT Ave. Casino Gulfport Art Village Boyd Hill L) Trail Dolphin OL 17 Nature 54TH AVE. S Y (T Landings A YW A B 62ND AVE. S AS ELL PIN

Gulf Beaches Historical Museum

Miami

Tampa International Airport

62ND AVE. N

9TH AVE. N

5TH AVE. S

PASS-A-GRILLE BEACH

Ft. Myers

589

92

22ND AVE. N

SUNSHINE SKYWAY (TOLL)

Area of detail

.

MLK JR. ST. (9TH ST.)

PARK ST.

.

LL

MIAMI - 269 mi/433 km Approx. 4 hr., 10 mins.

Tampa

D BLV

Tyrone Square

Mall Boca Ciega SOUTH 19 Bay PASADENA

S TO LA Y ( EL A N W PI AY B

JACKSONVILLE - 221 mi/401 km Approx. 3 hr., 45 mins.

VD

38TH AVE. N

D.

FORT MYERS - 118 mi/190 km Approx. 1 hr., 50 mins.

KENNETH CITY

T

War Veterans YRON E Memorial Park BL

ST. PETE BEACH

Orlando

D.

Derby Lane Greyhound Track

54TH AVE. N

BLV

ORLANDO - 107 mi/172 km Approx. 90 mins.

DY

LF

TAMPA - 24 mi/39 km Approx. 30 mins.

SEMINOLE

Sunset Beach

LV

G Sawgrass The Shoppes Lake Park at Park Place

1

GU

DRIVING TIMES

19

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FLORIDA

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GAN

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AN

PARK BLVD.

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Jacksonville

TB

BEAC H DR. NE SHO RE D R. N E

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ST. PETE/ CLEARWATER

BELCHER RD.

MI SSOU R I AV E.

John’s Pass Village • Hubbard’s Marina • Pirate Ship at John’s Pass

AV

HO

BAY

.

MADEIRA BEACH

EL

693

PINELLAS PARK

Lake Seminole Park

PAR K ST .

VD

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31B OS

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118TH AVE. N

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GU

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32

IN

REDINGTON BEACH

RO

CAUSEWAY

St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport

HA

Pinellas Trail

19

BRYAN DAIRY RD.

L ake Seminole

Boca Ciega Millennium Park

NORTH REDINGTON BEACH

Other Roads

SEMINOLE RD.

Seaside PARK BLVD. Seabird Seminole Sanctuary City Center

REDINGTON SHORES

Principal Highways

102ND AVE. N

O

Old Tampa Bay

688

CO

Divided Highways

CL EAR W AT ER L AR GO R D.

RD.

CKS N RO INDIA

INDIAN SHORES

Controlled Access Divided Highways

Clearwater Mall

CAMPBELL

4TH ST.

FORT HARRISON AVE.

GULF

Exit Number

ULMERTON RD.

Indian Rocks Historical Walsingham Park Society

COURTNEY

60

Largo Mall

Ridgecrest Park 113TH RD. N

BLVD.

WALSINGHAM RD.

Spectrum Field

EAST BAY DR.

686

M CS ST W UA Y. RT

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH

Airport

LARGO

TO

Points of Interest

OAK HURST RD.

State Highway

John Taylor Park

Ruth Eckerd Hall

E BRI DG

Pinewood Cultural Center • Botanical Gardens • Heritage Village 699 • County Extension

U.S. Highway

WEST BAY DR.

1.8

580 AN

E SI D

Interstate

BELLEAIR CSWY.

SB

SUNSET POINT RD.

Y BA

BELLEAIR SHORE

LL

590

The Capitol Clearwater HM Theatre Air Park COAC ME Clearwater Marina GU NE MO LF DREW ST. • StarLite Majesty VI CS RI CLEVELAND ST. EW WY AL • Captain Memo’s BL COURT ST. . VD GULF TO BAY BLVD. • Sea Screamer SAND KEY . Coachman • Calypso Queen LAKEVIEW RD. • The Tropics Boat Tours Sand Key Park Park Winter’s BELLEAIR RD. Dolphin Tale Eagle Adventure BELLEAIR BEACH Lake 595 Park Belleair ALT 19 Bluffs

KEY

HI

4TH ST. 3RD ST

HIGHLAND AVE.

UNION ST.

Philippe Park

28TH ST. N

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

SAFETY HARBOR

.9

Tampa Bay Downs

Safety Harbor

49TH ST. N

MANDALAY AVE

ALT

S

3/4 inch = approx. 1.8 miles

OLDSMAR

Westfield Countryside

E 0

Canal Park Sports Complex

34TH ST. N

Clearwater Harbor 19

.

NEBRASKA AVE.

Dunedin Fine Art Center

W

John Chesnut Sr. Park

PALM HARBOR

CSW Y .

Brooker Creek Environmental Education Center

611

Lake Tarpon

OZONA

Dunedin Historic Museum

Pier 60 Park Beach Walk

00

19

N

Brooker Creek Preserve

MCMU L L EN- BOOT H R D.

Caladesi State Park

CLEARWATER BEACH

19

BELCHER RD.

CALADESI ISLAND

EDI N

.

Leepa Rattner Museum of Art

ALDERMAN RD.

MYRTLE AVE.

Gulf of Mexico

DU N

RD

ALT

CRYSTAL BEACH

Honeymoon Island Park

NE

R ACE T R ACK R D.

VE.

LAS A

PINEL

KLOSTERMAN RD.

Wall Springs Park

STO

Tarpon Springs Cultural Center A.L. Anderson Park

RD.

Sponge Docks St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral

Sunset Beach Park

HONEYMOON ISLAND

KEY

DODECANESE BLVD.

EAST LAKE

Fred Howard Park

TARPON SPRINGS

Sunshine Skyway Bridge Fishing Pier & Park

Sunshine Skyway Channel TO SARASOTA

For a deeper look at our communities, go to VisitSPC.com/Communities


DS TAT E

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EX SU PL O SU N RE G AN T A D H R-W F E U C H N OA IT , W S E T BE HE W A RE IT CH H S ES UR TH F EM M EE OS TS T. TU 35 RF MIL O ES N O OF U R

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MADEIRA BEACH

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BELLEAIR BEACH & BELLEAIR SHORE

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WELCOME TO OUR

• CALADESI ISLAND STATE PARK • CLEARWATER BEACH • SAND KEY • INDIAN ROCKS BEACH & INDIAN SHORES • REDINGTON BEACHES

• TREASURE ISLAND • ST. PETE BEACH • PASS-A-GRILLE • FORT DE SOTO PARK


CLEARWATER BEACH

VisitSPC.com/ClearwaterBeach • TripAdvisor in 2018 named popular Clearwater Beach as the “No. 1 Beach in America” and “No. 7 in the World.” This bustling beach offers long, wide stretches of Gulf beach for swimming and sunning and equally long stretches of retail shopping and dining, from beach-casual to finer options. You’ll see it all from your parasailing perch or zipping by on a jet ski. In the midst of all the fun is Pier 60. Reel in a plump mangrove snapper — all the gear you need can be rented. An even better catch is the daily Sunsets at Pier 60, where everyone gathers nightly to enjoy a festival of arts and crafts sellers and street performers. On weekends, watch a movie — one recent screening was, of course, Finding Dory —

under the stars at the Sunset Cinema. In springtime, the Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival is a spectacular sand sculpture competition. Ready to hop on the Jolley Trolley ($5 for an unlimited ride pass)? Check out the Ron Jon Surf Shop, Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise, miniature golf at Captain Bligh’s Landing, dining at the Palm Pavilion Beachside Grill & Bar, Caretta on the Gulf or one of four Frenchy’s seafood spots here (a local fave during stone crab season, there’s also a spot in Dunedin). The famed Clearwater Marine Aquarium is just a mile away. Deluxe beach accommodations include two of the newest resorts, the Wyndham Grand Clearwater PIER 60

Beach and the Opal Sands Resort, as well as the Sandpearl Resort and Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa. Also worth checking out are the Hilton Clearwater Beach and Shephard’s Beach Resort, with its nonstop music from local and national bands as well as DJs.


ST. PETE BEACH VisitSPC.com/StPeteBeach • This long, beautiful crescent-shaped stretch of beach, voted TripAdvisor’s ”No. 7 Beach in the United States” in 2018 (No. 3 in 2017 and No. 4 in 2016), is the perfect mix of sun, sand, food and good times. Singles, families, seniors and millennials like it because it offers something for everyone. Need a spa treatment? Try the historic Don CeSar, known as the “Pink Palace,” a top Gulf-front resort. If it’s a family-friendly vacation you’re after, hit the  TradeWinds Island Grand Resort, basically a city within a city, with multiple restaurants, pools and bars, as well as great sunsets and a huge waterslide on the beach. At the Guy Harvey Outpost, a TradeWinds resort, its RumFish Grill restaurant showcases a 33,500-gallon aquarium featured on Animal Planet’s hit show Tanked. For unrivaled Old Florida charm, stay at the Bon Aire Resort and Hotel. This 1940s-style motor lodge is family-owned and operated; it’s where locals “staycation” and throw their kids’ slumber parties. For drinks, hit Jimmy B’s Beach Bar, the Undertow or the Postcard Inn’s PCI Beach Bar. Have dinner with a view at Spinners Rooftop Revolving Bistro on the 12th floor of the Grand Plaza Hotel, Greek fare at Skidder’s or enjoy cocktails and seafood on the rustic deck at Woody’s Waterfront.

TRADEWINDS ISLAND GRAND RESORT

DON CESAR


THE BELLEAIRS BELLEAIR BEACH, BELLEAIR BLUFFS, BELLEAIR SHORES VisitSPC.com/Belleair • Because much of these beaches is home to beachfront mansions, there’s a relaxed vibe when you want to take a break from the bustle of some of the other Gulf beaches. Since it’s primarily residential, there are few commercial businesses — and that means more quiet time for visitors. It’s easy to get around here, but be patient finding a parking spot in one of the public access points. Once parked, however, an inviting path carves its way through sea oats and opens onto these beautiful, pristine beaches stretching about three-quarters of a mile. Bring everything you need, and make a pit stop before you go, as there are no public facilities here. Just you and some peace and quiet.

SAND KEY VisitSPC.com/SandKey • Head south from Clearwater Beach and a short bridge drive over Clearwater Pass and you’ll come upon quiet, laid-back Sand Key. A highlight is lovely Sand Key Park, where you can enjoy beautiful Gulf views. Rent an umbrella or cabana, or explore by kayak or bike — this 95-acre park is an easy place in which to unwind. Shaded picnic pavilions, a concession stand and a playground make it even easier to take it easy. Enjoy beautiful sunsets from these pristine sands or from your balcony at one of a selection of vacation condominiums set up for long or short stays. Hotels include the Marriott Suites on Sand Key and the Sheraton Sand Key Resort, home to Rusty’s Bistro, a recipient of one of Florida Trend’s  Golden Spoon Awards.


CALADESI ISLAND STATE PARK VisitSPC.com/Caladesi • Caladesi Island State Park was rated in 2018 and 2017 as No. 7 in the Top 10 Beaches in America by “Dr. Beach,” noted coastal expert Stephen Leatherman. The soft white sands of Caladesi are accessible only by the Caladesi Ferry — a fun 20-minute ride (for a fee) — from nearby Honeymoon Island State Park. With limited access come great rewards, from peaceful sunbathing to looking for wildlife along the kayak trail or hiking the 3-mile interior trail. Among the wildlife you’ll spot are skittering crabs, gopher tortoises, abundant bird species and jumping dolphins. Boaters can moor overnight with electric and water hookups. Also available are picnic shelters, a snack bar and restrooms. Rentals are available for the gear you’ll need. Leashed dogs are allowed off the beach.

HONEYMOON ISLAND STATE PARK VisitSPC.com/Honeymoon • Honeymoon Island is Florida’s most popular state park because of its beautiful natural habitat and plethora of things to do. It’s a short drive over the Dunedin Causeway, where you’ll then pay a nominal fee to park. From there, you can swim, fish, kayak or bike your way around. Equipment rentals make it easy. American oystercatchers, black skimmers and a multitude of long-legged wading birds abound. Look up and you might see birds of prey, from bald eagles to osprey. Loggerhead and green sea turtles make their nests here, but as they are protected species you’ll need to keep your distance. Explore the 2.5-mile nature trail before heading back to enjoy a cheeseburger or a weekly fish fry from one of the island’s cafes. If you’re here to catch some rays and look for shells on the beach, you can rent umbrellas and beach chairs. Picnic pavilions with grills are also available, as are restrooms and showers. Leashed dogs are welcome.


THE REDINGTONS REDINGTON SHORES, REDINGTON BEACH & NORTH REDINGTON BEACH VisitSPC.com/TheRedingtons • One lovely 3-mile stretch of barrier island is home to the Redington Beach communities along a serene swath of powder-soft sands. Come for a month, or stay for the season, as many folks do, renting — or eventually buying a second home. Terrific restaurants dot the beaches here. Conch Republic Grill and SeeBreeze Island Grill serve local seafood with waterfront views. For decades, locals have been loving the Frog Pond and its plentiful servings. Sweet Sage Cafe & Boutique serves breakfast and lunch. For accommodations, there are a couple of resort-style hotels, such as the DoubleTree Beach Resort by Hilton. You’ll get a real beach vibe at a boutique hotel or, if you need a full kitchen setup, rent a small vacation condo. Catch Happy Hour at Wahoo’s Waterside Pub & Patio or swing by the Friendly Tavern for karaoke, great drinks, pub food and some local seafood, all in a decidedly low-key atmosphere.

TREASURE ISLAND VisitSPC.com/TreasureIsland • On the other side of the drawbridge at John’s Pass you’ll find Treasure Island, just to the south. Check out Gators Café and Saloon, a fixture for more than 20 years, which is right on the Pass. Tie up your boat or jet ski on the dock adjacent to their “World’s Longest Waterfront Bar.” Nibble real gator bites while watching watercraft navigate the fast-moving currents. Inside, enjoy sports on the many big-screen HDTVs. The Treasure Island Beach Resort offers luxurious accommodations and a Gulf view from every room. “TI” is also known as Florida’s “sand sculpture capital” and is host to the spectacular Sanding Ovations Masters Cup Sand Sculpture Competition every fall. Stroll along the soft sands along 3 miles of pristine beach and have lunch or cocktails at Sloppy Joe’s at the Bilmar Beach Resort, or at the party favorite Caddy’s on the Beach. For live music every night, head to the Ka’Tiki Beach Bar or Ricky T’s across Gulf Boulevard. Next door is the V.I.P. Lounge, where locals line up for the excellent Mexican food. Get the wet burrito with your margarita. On Sundays, check out the sunset drum circle held on the beach. Head to the southern tip of the island to Sunset Beach, a popular LGBT spot known for great live music.


MADEIRA BEACH VisitSPC.com/MadeiraBeach Welcome to “Mad Beach” or simply “Madeira,” as the locals call it. Madeira Beach is a lively beach and fishing community that centers around John’s Pass and John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk. Eager to do some deep-sea Gulf fishing, dolphin-watching or enjoy a pleasure cruise aboard a pirate ship? Check out the excursions at Hubbard’s Marina and other outfits here. Rent your own boat, jet ski or standup paddleboard to tool around. The “Pass” in John’s Pass was carved out by a hurricane in 1848 when a fierce storm surge burst through the barrier island. Today, swift currents flow through the pass between Mad Beach and Treasure Island, immediately to the south. A cool drawbridge connects the two communities. Pirate John Levique first navigated the pass, giving it its name. Today it is home to the largest fishing fleet in Florida. The Village and Boardwalk now features more than 100 shops and restaurants. Take the kids to miniature golf at Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf.

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH INDIAN SHORES VisitSPC.com/IRB • These two small beach communities offer Florida charm with generous sunsets in all their fiery glory. There’s a great combination of relaxed time on the beach tanning or taking a stroll through beautiful sands with more than two dozen access points to hit the beach. Arrive early for better parking options, especially on the weekends. Cool off at Splash Harbour Water Park, which features a lazy river, zero-entry pool and two 42-foot water slides. Explore the Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve.  For accommodations, you have your choice of views of the Gulf of Mexico or the Intracoastal Waterway, as Gulf Boulevard stretches between these beautiful bodies of water. There are still old-time motels and funky beach cottages here, as well as vacation condominiums. Dine at a variety of family restaurants and neighborhood watering holes. You can’t go wrong with the family-friendly Crabby Bill’s Restaurant — a local beach fixture for many years — for fresh seafood and a full bar.


PASS-A-GRILLE VisitSPC.com/PassAGrille Pass-a-Grille, a small, quiet neighborhood beach town at the south end of St. Pete Beach, is bordered by the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico. Although there are many houses and condos here, there’s still lots to do. Have breakfast on the beach at the Paradise Grill, and then later grab snacks or a seafood dinner right along the water’s edge. Or walk across the street for frozen drinks atop the Hurricane Restaurant’s famous rooftop deck, or try their grouper sandwich. Visit the Eighth Avenue Historic District, shop for souvenirs or antiques or check out the Don CeSar’s satellite Spa Oceana. Climb aboard the Miss Pass-a-Grille for a day of deep-sea fishing, take the Shell Key Shuttle to Shell Key or the island ferry to Egmont Key or beyond. Head over to the Merry Pier for charter information, or rent a rod and reel, buy some bait and cast your line right off the pier. Stroll the 2 miles from the Don CeSar to the jetty at the southernmost tip of Pass-a-Grille along powder-white sands for a relaxing visit, especially as the sun sets.

FORT DE SOTO PARK VisitSPC.com/FortDeSoto • This is the largest of the local parks and is actually a series of five islands, or keys, that stretch over 1,136 acres on the southernmost tip of the St. Pete-Clearwater peninsula. High winds near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge beckon to windsurfers and kiteboarders, while ornithologists and amateur birdwatchers come to see some of the more than 328 bird species here. Fort De Soto also has two award-winning beaches, two long fishing piers, a 7-mile paved trail for hiking, biking, jogging or rollerblading, bike and kayak rentals, nature tours, a boat ramp and a family-friendly 238-site waterfront campground. Dogs are not permitted in the campground, but there’s a fenced-in dog park, as well as the adjoining dog beach, where pooches swim and frolic on the beach. Kayak out to the ruins of the historic fort and snorkel around the old artillery holds, then paddle back to the fishing pier for ice cream or a cool drink from the concession stand. Take a ferry to Egmont Key or to catch a glimpse of the working lighthouse. The beaches of Fort De Soto are consistently ranked near the top, including a 2009 “Best Beach in the America” designation by TripAdvisor and a “Best Family Beach” honor by USA Today in 2013.


HONEYMOON ISLAND STATE PARK Vibe: naturally wild Go here for: family fun, wildlife viewing, 2.5 mile nature trail, bike/kayak rental, ferry to Caladesi Island

CALADESI ISLAND STATE PARK Vibe: unspoiled getaway Go here for: escapist beach, 3 mile nature trail, overnight boat mooring, kayaking trail, wildlife viewing, no roads fun, boat only access

EXPLORE THE COAST WITH THE MOST. 35 MILES OF SUN AND FUN, WHERE SURF MEETS TURF, ON OUR SUGAR-WHITE BEACHES.

CLEARWATER BEACH Vibe: it’s all that, and more Go here for: America’s best beach (#1 TripAdvisor 2018), family fun, world class luxury resorts, waterfront dining, daily sunset celebrations, fishing off Pier 60, dolphin cruises, charter boats, sailing

SAND KEY Vibe: quiet and fun Go here for: low key relaxation close to Clearwater Beach, Sand Key Park, bicycle/kayak rentals, wide beaches, sailing

THE BELLEAIRS Vibe: exclusive neighborhood Go here for: pristine beaches, quiet getaway, hotspot for second homes

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH & INDIAN SHORES Vibe: old-timey Florida charm Go here for: plentiful beach access points, laid back waterfront dining at family restaurants and neighborhood bars, funky beach cottages


ST. PETE BEACH TREASURE ISLAND Vibe: classic Florida beach Go here for: LGBT-friendly Sunset Beach, sunset drum circle, old-timey lodging, beach resorts, waterfront beach bars, wide beaches, beach boardwalk

Vibe: no fuss is a plus Go here for: Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best beach (#7 TripAdvisor 2018), beach bars, watersports, waterfront and rooftop dining, resorts, shopping

MADEIRA BEACH Vibe: gateway to the Gulf Go here for: Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pass Village and Boardwalk, multitude of shops, fishing trips, boat/jet ski rentals, seafood restaurants

PASS-A-GRILLE BEACH Vibe: laid-back beauty Go here for: peace and quiet, 8th Ave. historic district, welcoming neighborhood, beachside dining, ferry to Egmont and Shell Keys, fishing

FORT DE SOTO PARK Vibe: islands of adventure Go here for: family fun, historic fort, pier fishing, ferry to Egmont Key, kayak mangrove tunnels, waterfront camping, bike/rollerblade 7 miles of paved trail, dog beach, boating

SHELL KEY Vibe: remote island getaway Go here for: unspoiled nature, multiple islands/keys, boating, primitive camping, beach activities, wildlife viewing

EGMONT KEY Vibe: pristine nature Go here for: scenic lighthouse, wildlife viewing, snorkeling, old fort ruins, palm forest

THE REDINGTONS Vibe: off the beaten path Go here for: 3 miles of beach, boutique resorts, waterside dining and taverns, quiet neighborhoods, popular for second homes


COMMUNITIES VisitSPC.com/Communities

SMALL TOWNS

CHARM

DOWNTOWN DUNEDIN

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St. Petersburg and Clearwater are by far the biggest towns, but our smaller communities add their own unique charms and distinctive experiences to make one terrific destination.


TARPON SPRINGS VisitSPC.com/TarponSprings More than a century of Greek culture blends with old-time Florida in historic Tarpon Springs, long known as the “Sponge Capital of the World.” More than a century ago, the town’s Greek immigrants surmounted the challenges of underwater diving as they peered through portholes built into their heavy helmets. Today the remarkable history of that era is celebrated on the Historic Sponge Docks on bustling Dodecanese Boulevard along the Anclote River. A commercial fishing industry thrives here, as does a multitude of quirky shops and Greek restaurants – get the tableside flaming saganaki cheese! — lining the bustling waterfront. Take a pleasure cruise or head out for deep-sea fishing here. Beyond the waterfront, stop in at the Tarpon Springs Area Historical Society or visit one of the many excellent museums, like the 1883 Safford House Museum, the Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum or the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art. Beautiful parks and preserves abound, including A.L. Anderson Park on the banks of Lake Tarpon and the spectacular, 8,700-acre Brooker Creek Preserve and its miles of walking trails amid the wildlife. Microbreweries are popular, such as Silverking, Saint Somewhere and Two Frogs. The Greek Orthodox community celebrates Epiphany every January in spectacular fashion. Take a peek inside beautiful St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, founded in 1905.

TARPON SPRINGS

PALM HARBOR VisitSPC.com/PalmHarbor One of the “Best Golf Resorts in Florida” for 2018 as chosen by Golf Digest, players from around the world come to the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor. Its formidable Copperhead Course, home of the PGA TOUR’s Valspar Championship each spring, is the most prized of its four championship-level courses. There’s also a nine-hole course for all skill levels. Off the links, Innisbrook’s four-star accommodations include hundreds of rooms and suites as well as condominium vacation rentals. There’s a wellness spa, six swimming pools, 11 Har-Tru tennis courts, six dining options and extensive conference facilities. The town of Palm Harbor offers shopping, dining, a variety of fairs and festivals that are held throughout the year, including the annual Parrot Head Party and Taste of

PALM HARBOR

Palm Harbor, where you can sample seafood and other specialties and enjoy live music.

SAFETY HARBOR VisitSPC.com/SafetyHarbor The waterfront enclave of Safety Harbor revels in its old Florida, small-town feel, where charming craftsman bungalows and distinctive, arts-inspired businesses are all within walking distance of one another. In some cases, classic residences on side streets off Main have merged with delicious cuisine. Don’t miss Southern Fresh, Pizzeria Gregario, Whistle Stop Grill and Bar or the variety of BBQ joints, plus art galleries and the Gigglewaters Social Club and

OLDSMAR

Screening Room. The funky Safety Harbor Art and Music Center is not to be missed, nor can it be, thanks to an immense, welcoming pink elephant poised before it. At the heart of the community, for many, is the community’s crown jewel, the Safety Harbor Resort & Spa. Founded in 1925, this haven of tranquility offers 172 guest rooms in a quaint setting on 22 acres of waterfront grounds, where, it has long been said of this town of mineral springs, “healing waters flow.” Around the resort, guests and residents stroll the waterfront on a boardwalk through the mangroves or out into Tampa Bay on the pier. Much of Safety Harbor’s past has been preserved, none more stunningly than the deep-shade oak canopies of Philippe Park, where

modern leaders have preserved and protected ancient Tocobaga Indian burial grounds. Some speculate that this respect for the past has somehow sheltered the bayside town from a direct hit by hurricanes for decades.

OLDSMAR VisitSPC.com/Oldsmar Oldsmar — the gateway to the St. Pete/Clearwater peninsula — is the community founded in 1916 by Oldsmobile inventor Ransom Eli Olds at the northernmost tip of Old Tampa Bay. Oldsmar’s well-rounded town is an intimate residential area thanks to its range of housing styles, from older, V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 17


COMMUNITIES VisitSPC.com/Communities

single-family homes at the mouth of the bay to lush, gated communities. The area is an integral part of the Tampa Bay watershed, Florida’s largest open-water estuary. Approximately 30 percent of the city is made up of parks and open space, including the Mobbly Bayou Preserve and 34 acres of protected wetlands along the Lake Tarpon Canal. More than 100 years after its founding by a leading industrialist of his time, the city is home to nearly 1,500 large and small businesses, including the national reach of Nielsen Media Research. For diversions, there is bike racing at the Oldsmar BMX Track, ice hockey and ice skating at the Tampa Bay Skating Academy, canoeing and kayaking at Mobbly, and, at the city limits, horse racing at Tampa Bay Downs. The longtime “Mightiest in the South” Oldsmar Flea Market, with more than 1,200 booths, is open weekends.

DUNEDIN VisitSPC.com/Dunedin One of Florida’s most idyllic smalltown downtowns can be found extending inland from the waterfront. Dunedin is a walkable, friendly, tasty community that offers unobstructed views of the Intracoastal Waterway, St. Joseph Sound and the Gulf of Mexico. The downtown district has charming

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SAFETY HARBOR

mom-and-pop restaurants, shops and craft breweries (Dunedin Brewery is Florida’s oldest microbrewery) but is pleasantly devoid of large commercial signage, franchise restaurants and chain retail stores. Dunedin is also home to Florida’s most popular state park, Honeymoon Island State Park, which draws 1 million people annually. If you love baseball, this is the only spring training home that Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays have ever known and its class-A Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League play here all summer. The city’s Scottish heritage plays out year-round in shops and events, none bigger than the Dunedin Highland Games, which features three days of live music, piping and drumming, caber tossing

and Highland dancing competitions. The community’s annual Mardi Gras celebration is also a big draw. The annual Art Harvest is one of the largest outdoor shows in Florida. Check out the well-regarded Dunedin Fine Art Center.

GULFPORT VisitSPC.com/Gulfport This quiet and quirky waterfront town — its unofficial motto is “Keep Gulfport Weird” — is a laid-back haven for artists and craftsmen. Its annual Geckofest is a family-friendly festival of food, arts and crafts, and live music. Gulfport also boasts a wide variety of excellent restaurants, from classic breakfast spots and romantic dining to interna-

tional flavors and late-night pub food. Fancy swing or ballroom dancing, or Argentine tango? The Gulfport Casino, on the National Register of Historic Places, can’t be beat. The Casino (well, not that kind of casino) is part of the beautiful waterfront district, where you can take in views of Boca Ciega Bay, or check out the live music at O’Maddy’s Bar & Grille, which has outdoor seating right along the bay. Explore the Clam Bayou Nature Preserve, fish or enjoy a romantic walk on Williams Pier. The weekly Tuesday Fresh Market offers fresh produce and baked goods. Gulfport’s Art Walks are a popular event. The Historic Peninsula Inn, with its wide veranda, has its own onsite restaurant. Golf at the nearby Pasadena Yacht & Country Club.


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U N I Q U E LY S T. P E T E • U N I Q U E LY S I R A TA Sprouts Kid’s Splash Zone • Watersports • Recreation Ro om Beach & Po olside Recreational Program @siratastpete /siratabeachresort

5300 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach, FL t 866.340.9444 • playmoreflorida.com


WATER VisitSPC.com/Water

Come on in, the waterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fine all around St. Pete/Clearwater. Plunge deep into the Gulf to explore reefs, zip along the shore on a jet ski, float above it all from your parasail, pilot a rental boat or just drop a line on a quiet fishing pier and while away the day.

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MANATEE SIGHTING AT SAND KEY

AQUATIC ADVENTURE We’re not talking pedal-powered swan boats, though if that’s your thing, we’re not judging. No, strap on your jetpack for a trip to the future. Specifically, your JetLev, a super-charged, water-powered engine you strap on your back. You’ll be propelled as high as 30 feet at speeds of 30 miles per hour. Ride one at the TradeWinds Island Resort in St. Pete Beach. Jet skis and other water scooters, which can go as fast as 60 mph, are rented all along the beaches, at many beach resorts and private outfits, such as Clearwater Jet Ski and Fun Boat Adventures and Woody’s Watersports at the John’s Pass Village in Madeira

Beach and the Blind Pass Boat and Jet Ski Rental in Blind Pass. Suncoast Surf Shop in Treasure Island and Nekton Surf Shop in Indian Rocks Beach also offer surfing gear. Zip along behind a speedboat while wakeboarding or waterskiing with gear from Totally Tubular Watersports in Clearwater Beach. Get a bird’s-eye view of the beaches while parasailing — and couples can ride together. Check out Suncoast Watersports in St. Pete Beach. You’ll be high as a kite on a surfboard if you try out kiteboarding, an eye-popping adventure that requires lessons. Elite Watersports has locations in Tarpon Springs and St. Petersburg.

MORE POWER TO YOU Ride into the sunset as you pilot your own craft, available at numerous rental outfits in the St. Pete/Clearwater area. Some boats are as long as 20 feet, seating as many as eight to 10 people. Engines might be modest or mighty, with some as powerful as 150 to 300 hp. Shady bimini tops are common. For anglers, there are boats with baitwells and depthfinders. Check out Tarpon Landing Marina in Tarpon Springs; Indian Rocks Beach Boat Rentals; and Clearwater Boat Rentals, among others.

V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 23


WATER VisitSPC.com/Water

CALADESI ISLAND STATE PARK

JETLEV

GRAB YOUR PADDLE Looking for your moment of zen with a little sun? Kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddleboarding, usually called just SUP, are great ways to see Florida’s natural beauty from a new angle and in a calm environment. Popular spots include the mangrove trails of Weedon Island Preserve and Fort De Soto in St. Petersburg, Anclote Key Preserve State Park in Tarpon Springs and Caladesi Island in Dunedin. Rentals are widely available.

DIVE RIGHT IN For experienced snorkelers and divers, there are more than three dozen artificial reefs and sunken ships off the coast of the St. Pete/Clearwater beaches. Many are artificial structures created from the sinking of environmentally safe materials such as old bridge rubble, steel beams and even entire boats. Algae and barnacles attach themselves, followed by feeding fish. In a year or so, the reef begins to encourage the growth of coral. Some reefs are as close as 200 yards from shore, and others, particularly old wrecks, are as far out as 38 miles into the Gulf. These reefs are big draws for snorkelers, scuba divers and free divers whose interests range from underwater photography to spearfishing. Get scuba-diving certification and 24 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S

KITEBOARDING NEAR THE SUNSHINE SKYWAY

explore it all, including wrecks like the Coast Guard cutter Blackthorn, which rests at a depth between 62 and 78 feet. The ship was scuttled following its tragic collision in 1980 with a 600-foot freighter near the Sunshine Skyway bridge. Among the outfits to check out are operations like Infinite Descent in Madeira Beach and Tanks-a-Lot Dive Charters in Clearwater. See video and a map of dive sites at VisitSPC.com/ Dive.

THE FISH OF THE DAY … Deep-sea charters to catch red snapper, grouper, amberjack, kingfish and mackerel are ubiquitous up and down the St. Pete/Clearwater beaches, including charters out of Hubbard’s Marina at John’s Pass Village in Madeira Beach; Dolphin Deep Sea Fishing

in Tarpon Springs; and Queen Fleet in Clearwater Beach. Check out spearfishing trips at 2 Shea Fishing and Diving Charters in Clearwater. If you like fishing for freshwater bass, there are charters on Lake Tarpon in Palm Harbor, including Get Reel Guide Service and Captain Gene Bass Fishing and More. Fishing piers abound in the St. Pete/Clearwater area, with tackle rentals available. Reel one in at the Merry Pier in Pass-a-Grille; at one of two piers in Fort De Soto; and at Pier 60 in Clearwater Beach, among others.


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BEST LIST VisitSPC.com/Best

BEST NEW KID ON THE BLOCK

BEST LIVE MUSIC VENUE

➊ Sea Dog Brewing Co., Treasure Island ➋ The Restorative, Dunedin ➌ The Getaway Skyway Marina, St. Pete ➍ Trophy Fish, St. Pete ➎ Reading Room, St. Pete

➊ Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater ➋ Vinoy Park, St. Pete ➌ Capitol Theatre, Clearwater ➍ Jannus Live, St. Pete ➎ Mahaffey Theater, St. Pete

Voted on by thousands of locals, visitors and area insiders.

BEST DOG HANGOUT

BEST WEDDING VENUE ➊ The Don CeSar, St. Pete Beach ➋ Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater Beach ➌ TradeWinds Island Resorts, St. Pete Beach ➍ The Vinoy Renaissance, St. Pete ➎ Hyatt Regency, Clearwater Beach

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➊ Fort De Soto Park ➋ Dunedin (Dogedin) ➌ Downtown St. Pete ➍ The Dog Bar, St. Pete ➎ Safety Harbor

BEST BEACH BAR ➊ Caddy's on the Beach, Sunset Beach ➋ Frenchy's Rockaway Grill, Clearwater Beach ➌ Palm Pavilion Beachside Grill & Bar, Clearwater Beach ➍ Crabby's Bar & Grill, Clearwater Beach ➎ Shephard's Tiki Beach Bar and Grill, Clearwater Beach


BEST BOUTIQUE HOTEL

BEST FAMILY ACTIVITY

➊ Palm Pavilion Inn, Clearwater Beach ➋ Treasure Island Beach Resort, Treasure Island ➌ Postcard Inn on the Beach, St. Pete Beach ➍ The Birchwood, St. Pete ➎ Hotel Zamora, St. Pete Beach

➊ Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Clearwater ➋ Splash Harbour Water Park, Indian Rocks Beach ➌ St. Pete Shuffleboard, St. Pete ➍ Great Explorations Children's Museum, St. Pete ➎ Replay Amusement Museum, Tarpon Springs

BEST GROUPER ➊ Frenchy's Rockaway Grill, Clearwater Beach ➋ Crabby's Dockside, Clearwater Beach ➌ RumFish Grill, St. Pete Beach ➍ Palm Pavilion, Clearwater Beach ➎ Guppy's on the Beach, Indian Rocks Beach

MOST EXCITING SPORTING EVENT ➊ Tampa Bay Rays, St. Pete ➋ Firestone Grand Prix, St. Pete ➌ Spring Training, Clearwater & Dunedin ➍ Tampa Bay Rowdies, St. Pete ➎ Valspar Championship, Palm Harbor

BEST BREWERY

BEST MUSEUM

➊ 3 Daughters Brewing, St. Pete ➋ Dunedin Brewery, Dunedin ➌ Big Storm Brewing Co., Clearwater ➍ Mad Beach Brewing, Madeira Beach ➎ Crooked Thumb Brewery, Safety Harbor

➊ The Dali Museum, St. Pete ➋ Museum of Fine Arts, St. Pete ➌ Dunedin Fine Art Center, Dunedin ➍ Chihuly Collection, St. Pete ➎ Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Pete

BEST BEACH

BEST HOTEL

➊ Clearwater Beach ➋ St. Pete Beach/Pass-a-Grille ➌ Caladesi Island/Honeymoon Island State Park ➍ Indian Rocks Beach ➎ Fort De Soto Park

➊ Wyndham Grand, Clearwater Beach ➋ Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater Beach ➌ The Don CeSar, St. Pete Beach ➍ TradeWinds Island Resorts, St. Pete Beach ➎ The Vinoy Renaissance, St. Pete 27


BEST DOWNTOWN

BEST LIST VisitSPC.com/Best

➊ St. Pete ➋ Dunedin ➌ Clearwater ➍ Safety Harbor ➎ Gulfport

BEST 360° ROOFTOP BAR

BEST WALK IN THE PARK

➊ Jimmy's Crow's Nest, Pier House 60, Clearwater Beach ➋ Canopy, The Birchwood, St. Pete ➌ Level 11 Rooftop Lounge, Grand Plaza Hotel, St. Pete Beach ➍ Hurricane Seafood Restaurant, Pass-a-Grille Beach ➎ Hotel Zamora, St. Pete Beach

➊ Sunken Gardens, St. Pete ➋ Florida Botanical Gardens, Largo ➌ Philippe Park, Safety Harbor ➍ Sawgrass Lake Park, St. Pete ➎ Boca Ciega Millennium Park, Seminole

BEST MURAL ➊ Twiggy, Chad Mize ➋ The Wolf, Sebastian Coolidge ➌ Woo Tribute, Derek Donnelly ➍ The Great Utterance, Cryptik ➎ Mr. Loudmouth and Friends, Greg Mike

BEST DAY TRIP AWAY ➊ Crystal River ➋ Busch Gardens, Tampa ➌ Orlando Theme Parks ➍ Sarasota ➎ Weeki Wachee Springs, Spring Hill

BEST COFFEE SHOP ➊ Kahwa, St. Pete ➋ Indian Shores Coffee Co., Indian Shores ➌ Sweet Brewnette, Madeira Beach ➍ Black Crow Coffee Co., St. Pete ➎ Bandit Coffee Co., St. Pete

BEST FESTIVAL ➊ Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival, Clearwater Beach ➋ Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Clearwater ➌ John's Pass Seafood & Music Festival, Madeira Beach ➍ St. Pete Pride, St. Pete ➎ Ribfest, St. Pete


BEST SHOPPING

BEST WATER EXCURSIONS

BEST RESTAURANT ($$$)

➊ John's Pass Village & Boardwalk, Madeira Beach ➋ Main Street, Dunedin ➌ Saturday Morning Market, St. Pete ➍ Central Ave., St. Pete ➎ Dodecanese Boulevard, Tarpon Springs

➊ Captain Memo's Pirate Cruise, Clearwater Beach ➋ Shell Key Shuttle, Pass-a-Grille ➌ Topwater Kayak Outpost, Fort De Soto Park ➍ Speed Boat Adventures, St. Pete Beach ➎ JetLev Water Jet Pack, St. Pete Beach

➊ Salt Rock Grill, Indian Rocks Beach ➋ Cafe Ponte, Clearwater ➌ The Black Pearl, Dunedin ➍ 1200 Chophouse, St. Pete Beach ➎ Sea Salt, St. Pete

BEST BRUNCH

BEST SPA

BEST RESTAURANT ($)

➊ Safety Harbor Resort & Spa, Safety Harbor ➋ The Spa at Sandpearl, Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater Beach ➌ Spa Oceana, The Don CeSar, St. Pete Beach ➍ Vinoy Salon & Day Spa, The Vinoy Renaissance, St. Pete ➎ Sandava Spa, Hyatt Regency, Clearwater Beach

➊ Mazzaro's Italian Market, St. Pete ➋ Olde Bay Café, Dunedin ➌ Bodega, St. Pete ➍ Mykonos, Tarpon Springs ➎ Casita Taqueria, St. Pete

➊ Island Way Grill, Clearwater Beach ➋ Clear Sky, Clearwater Beach ➌ 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House, St. Pete ➍ Sweet Sage Café, North Redington Beach ➎ Lolita's Wine Market, St. Pete

BEST COCKTAILS ➊ Bob Heilman's Beachcomber, Clearwater Beach

➋ The Mill, St. Pete ➌ Gigglewaters, Safety Harbor ➍ Mandarin Hide, St. Pete ➎ Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails, St. Pete

BEST RESTAURANT ($$)

BEST CHARTER BOAT

➊ Casa Tina, Dunedin ➋ Red Mesa Cantina, St. Pete ➌ Snapper's Sea Grill, St. Pete Beach ➍ Lucky Lobster Co., Dunedin ➎ Noble Crust, St. Pete

➊ StarLite Cruises (dining) ➋ Dolphin Landings (dolphin) ➌ Hubbard's Marina (fishing) ➍ The Tropics Boat Tours (sunset) ➎ Yacht StarShip (dining)

29


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Eat Stay & Play

Experience Premier Dining & Entertainment

Hip luxury rooms with modern amenities and stunning views. A beautiful pool with 7000 sq. ft. tropical deck featuring Soak Bar and VIP cabanas. Enjoy limitless delicacies from land and sea in Shephard’s waterfront restaurant, Ocean Flame. The Tiki Beach Bar and Wave Nightclub are known worldwide for bringing the best local and national entertainment to Clearwater Beach. It’s all at Shephard’s Beach Resort.

619 S. Gulfview Blvd. | Clearwater Beach

727-442-5107 or visit www.SHEPHARDS.com


ARTS VisitSPC.com/Arts

A "HONEYMOON AT CROW FAIR" BY JOHN COLEMAN, THE JAMES MUSEUM OF WESTERN AND WILDLIFE ART

"AGRISTOCRACY" BY MATT ESKUCHE, IMAGINE MUSEUM


With world-class museums, vibrant murals and numerous galleries and artists’ studios, downtown St. Pete is a thriving arts destination. Indeed the entire area is alive with a dynamic mixture of masterpieces, pop and street art, ceramics, art glass and even Western art, along with a community of award-winning artists.

THE DALÍ MUSEUM holds one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of works and artifacts of Spanish surrealist Salvador Dalí. Masterpieces in the collection include The Hallucinogenic Toreador and The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory. Traveling and changing exhibitions happen all year, many including works from other leading artists. The building itself, with beautiful views of Tampa Bay, is a work of art; a double-helix staircase in the center of the museum was inspired by Dalí’s fascination with DNA, and a large glass geodesic bubble made up of 1,062 triangular pieces of glass, known as the Enigma, erupts from the outside. Don’t miss it. THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, perched on the downtown waterfront, holds an encyclopedic collection of works spanning nearly 5,000 years up to the present. Traveling exhibitions showcase the same range of artwork, from old masters to contemporary, cutting-edge artists. Included in the collection are works by Monet, Rauschenberg and O’Keeffe, and a highly respected photography collection. THE JAMES MUSEUM OF WESTERN AND WILDLIFE ART features the impressive private collection of Mary and Tom James, who is the chairman of the Raymond James Financial firm. A stunning sandstone facade on the exterior of the building evokes imagery of the landscape of the American West. Inside, the collection of bronze sculptures and paintings of cowboys, Native Americans, landscapes and animals, contains a surprising amount of contemporary and pop art, including a Warhol. An incredible selection of Native American jewelry is also on display.

"TEAM GULF SUPREME" BY DONNA MCCLOUGH

THE CHIHULY COLLECTION, presented by the Morean Arts Center, features the glass art of living legend Dale Chihuly. A 20-foot sculpture of what looks like a stick of rock candy greets you outside the building that was specifically designed to house Chihuly’s work. Gloriously lit works include some of his most popular pieces, such as work from the Ikebana series as well as the spectacular Ruby Red Icicle Chandelier that was created for the Chihuly Collection.

"THE GIST" BY DASIC FERNANDEZ

V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 33


ARTS VisitSPC.com/Arts

CHEROKEE, 1975 BY FRITZ SCHOLDER (JAMES MUSEUM)

MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS

THE FLORIDA HOLOCAUST MUSEUM

THE MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN ARTS AND CRAFTS MOVEMENT, set to be completed in 2019, is a five-story, 137,000-square-foot space that will feature furniture, pottery, metalwork, lighting and photography from the definitive art collection of Rudy Ciccarello. THE IMAGINE MUSEUM holds a comprehensive collection of the American studio glass movement. The fantastic array includes works by the movement founders as well as contemporary, emerging artists and even some local artists. Traveling exhibits enhance the achievement in the medium. THE ST. PETERSBURG MUSEUM OF HISTORY tells about the birth of the Sunshine City, including the history of aviation here. There’s a fun Alligators and Oddities exhibit that includes a two-headed calf, as well as the Guinness-certified largest collection of baseballs, called Schrader’s Little Cooperstown. Traveling exhibits further enhance the experience. THE FLORIDA HOLOCAUST MUSEUM, with its permanent collection of educational exhibits, traveling exhibits, oral history series from survivors and other features, honors the millions of Jews and others who died or suffered in the Holocaust. There are notable guest speakers, and traveling exhibits feature contemporary artwork based on genocide and other critical issues.

DALĨ MUSEUM GLASS ENIGMA

34 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S


HERITAGE VILLAGE FAMILY FUN

Families can enjoy educational, hands-on fun at Great Explorations Children’s Museum in St. Petersburg, with exhibits that offer real-life problem-solving. Likewise, Tampa’s Glazer Children’s Museum uses GREAT EXPLORATIONS interactive play to CHILDREN’S MUSEUM let kids discover the world around them. The Tampa Bay History Center offers three floors of exhibits detailing 12,000 years of Florida history, including an interactive replica of a pirate ship, as well as changing exhibits. Take a trip back in time at Heritage Village, with historic buildings, a general store and a train depot.

ART THAT’S INSIDE OUT

"AZUL DE MEDIANOCHE CHANDELIER" (above) "VENETIAN INSTALLATION" (right) THE CHIHULY COLLECTION

The area's beautiful weather also brings art outdoors with large art festivals throughout the year. • Begun in 1976, the Mainsail Art Festival brings 250-plus top artists and craftspeople from around the world to exhibit side-by-side with the area’s best along St. Petersburg’s beautiful downtown waterfront in the spring. It's considered the premier juried outdoor art festival in Florida. • St. Petersburg’s CraftArt Festival in the fall is unique in that it only showcases fine craft —works in clay, glass, wood, fiber, jewelry and mixed media. Fine-craft artists from around the country show at the annual event downtown. • Dunedin’s Art Harvest features more than 200 artists working in a variety of media. • The Tarpon Springs Fine Arts Festival in the spring brings national artists to an idyllic location on Spring Bayou. • At the Clearwater Beach Chalk Art Festival, local and regional artists, students and artists’ groups transform sidewalks into mind-bending works of trompe l’oeil. The three-day event held in the fall includes arts and crafts vendors, activities for kids and live music. • St. Petersburg’s Festival of the Arts, or SPF, celebrates the arts by encompassing a number of cultural events over three weekends in the fall. Past events have included dance, fashion, film and concerts by the Florida Orchestra. V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 35


ARTS VisitSPC.com/Arts

ative

St. Pete/ Clearwater brims with galleries and studios in numerous arts districts, as many award-winning and nationally recognized artists make their homes here. Here’s a sampling. S T .

P E T E R S B U R G

WAREHOUSE ARTS DISTRICT The ArtsXChange houses more than 20 studios of artists working in a number of disciplines. The compound also includes Soft Water Studios and MGA Sculpture Studio. Marvel at Donald Gialanella’s metal sculptures at Livesteel Studio. If ceramics are your thing, visit the Morean Center for Clay, housed in a historic train station, or check out Charlie Parker Pottery. The Duncan McClellan Gallery offers terrific glass-blowing demonstrations and features award-winning art and the work of other local artists. Also explore the work of Mark Aeling, an internationally known artist and owner of MGA Sculpture Studio.

36

DOWNTOWN ST. PETE SECOND SATURDAY ARTWALK

A R T S

D I S T R I C T S

Many galleries and studios participate in St. Petersburg’s monthly Second Saturday ArtWalk, where visitors can nibble wine and cheese as they explore new exhibits and watch compelling demonstrations.

ARTICLES ART GALLERY

GRAND CENTRAL DISTRICT Craftsman House, a longtime staple here, specializes in fine craft. Woodfield Fine Art showcases paintings by owner Jim Woodfield and locals. St. Pete Artworks is the headquarters for the Gulf Coast Artist Alliance, a group of local artists working in a variety of media. DONALD GIALANELLA

CARRIE JADUS, SOFT WATER STUDIOS

EDGE DISTRICT Leslie Curran’s ARTicles Art Gallery, in the Edge District, represents many local fine contemporary artists through monthly exhibitions. The gallery also offers framing, consulting and curating services. St. Pete artist and muralist Chad Mize opened the MIZE Gallery in 2018. The gallery features his cool pop art with themed exhibitions from local and national artists.

WATERFRONT ARTS DISTRICT The Dalí Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts make their home amid the bustling shops and restaurants with killer views of Tampa Bay, but it is also home to Shapiro’s Gallery on Beach Drive, which features fine craft art from local and national artists, as well as fine Judaica.


DUNEDIN FINE ART CENTER

B E Y O N D

T H E

' B U R G

GULFPORT • Enjoy art walks on the first Friday and third Saturday of each month, where galleries, including Brenda McMahon Ceramics, open their doors. Or visit the Catherine A. Hickman Theater. This modern theater hosts stage productions, concerts, film festivals and more. PINELLAS PARK • The Pinellas Arts Village is home to artist Derek Donnelly’s COVE, his gallery and studio made of shipping containers and adorned with vibrant murals. Visit the village during the Fourth Saturday Art Walk and discover colorful metal sculptures at SWARTZ ART, Clayton Swartz’s gallery, and imaginative mixed-media sculptures at Pompei Monster Factory.

LEEPA-RATTNER MUSEUM OF ART

POMPEI MONSTER FACTORY

CLEARWATER • The Marlene Rose Gallery is home to works by award-winning glass artist Marlene Rose, whose works have been exhibited across the globe.

MOREAN ARTS CENTER GLASS STUDIO

CENTRAL ARTS DISTRICT In the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, you’ll find a plethora of local artists. Fine-craft organization Florida CraftArt only represents Florida artists in its gallery. Above the gallery there are the studios at ArtLofts, packed with artists at work. The Morean Arts Center exhibits the work of local painters, photographers and sculptors, and also provides fascinating glass-blowing demonstrations in its hot shop. Find local art, as well as theater performances, live music and spoken word jams at the Studio@620.

CARRIE KILGORE

DUNEDIN • This charming town is an artists’ hub, anchored by the Dunedin Fine Art Center, which exhibits fine art and fine craft by local, national and international artists in four galleries. The Clay and Paper Gallery offers ceramics, SYD ENTEL GALLERIES paper sculpture and printmaking, with an emphasis on Florida artists. Dunedin’s Second Friday Art and Wine Walk is a great time to visit the artists at Stirling Art Studios and Gallery, which also houses the Penny Lane Beatles Museum. SAFETY HARBOR • Syd Entel Galleries and Susan Benjamin Glass give Safety Harbor a rounded art experience in one gallery, featuring fine artists in painting and photography, as well as glass, from local, national and international artists. TARPON SPRINGS • The small but mighty Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, which rotates exhibits from local and national artists, has an impressive 6,000-piece permanent collection containing works from 20th century artists Alan Leepa and Abraham Rattner. It’s on the Tarpon Springs campus of St. Petersburg College. The Tarpon Art Guild Gallery is dedicated to works by local artists and is open for the First Friday Art Walk. V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 37


MURALS VisitSPC.com/Murals

COMMON GROUND BY CECILIA LUEZA

E R S T E

U PAC O S STEP OUTSIDE OUR MAGNIFICENT MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES and you’ll see a city’s canvas come to life. Many of the walls of St. Petersburg’s businesses bear beautiful, whimsical, funny and sometimes outrageous murals, many painted by local artists. Fall’s annual weeklong Shine Mural Festival brings local, national and international talent together to make their mark. Presented by the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, it offers a multitude of art events, community projects and guided mural tours. Guided tours are also available every Saturday morning through Florida CraftArt gallery. Or take your own tour with a downloadable app that includes a map and audio tour, found at stpeteartsalliance.org. Find the ultimate list of St. Pete’s street art at VisitSPC.com/Murals.

38 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S

LEGACY BY THIRST MCFLY


MOONBEAM DREAM BY ZULU PAINTER

CITRUS MEDLEY BY ANGELA FAUSTINA

TIMELINE TOWER BY CATHERINE WOODS

FACE THE JURY BY DOUGLAS KORNFELD

EYE OF THE STORM BY RICKY WATTS

DEREK DONNELLY WORKING ON A SIRATA HOTEL MURAL SECURITY LIZARD BY PAUL EPPLING

TLALOC BY DANIEL “R5” BAROJAS

V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 39 JAGGED PEAK BY BELIN


Feel the adrenaline rush and water-soaked excitement this summer at Busch Gardens® and Adventure Island®. As Florida’s Thrill Ride Leader, Busch Gardens offers a unique blend of thrill rides and world class animal attractions that’s fun for the whole family.

YOUR BEST TICKET DEAL AWAITS AT BuschGardensTampa.com Some restrictions apply. © 2018 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved.


S T. P E T E – C L E A R WAT E R I N T E R N AT I O N A L A I R P O R T

PIE

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over 55 cities YourTampa Bay Beaches Airport!

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St. Pete–Clearwater International Airport

PIE is Tampa Bay’s most convenient gateway to St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa and America’s award-winning beaches, with air service throughout the United States and Canada. The airport offers affordable parking with short walking distances and an easy-to-navigate terminal. PIE is one of the fastest growing airports in the United States and continues to break yearly records with annual increases in passengers. The St. PetersburgClearwater area can easily be reached from over 55 cities, all with non-stop flights. Allegiant continues to be the largest airline at PIE and flies non-stop to more destinations than any other airline in the Tampa Bay Area. We welcome you to enjoy all the wonderful attractions our destination has to offer and we take pride in making air travel easy as PIE!

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AllegiantAir.com 702-505-8888

BeauRivage.com 888-640-8973

FlairAir.ca 204-285-0844

FlySunwing.com 877-877-1755

@iflypie


NATURE VisitSPC.com/Nature

WILD Wildlife thrives in the St. Pete/Clearwater area, from dolphins and manatees to alligators, deer and birds of prey. Want to get up-close? Paddle through sparkling waters on endless sunny days and hike through deep-forested inland preserves just minutes from civilization. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be amply rewarded.

42 A M E R I C Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; S B E S T B E A C H E S


FORT DE SOTO PARK

GREEN ACRES

MANATEES

ROSEATE SPOONBILLS

ALLIGATOR

Weedon Island Preserve, a popular kayaking spot, occupies a 3,190-acre footprint on Tampa Bay where indigenous peoples lived for thousands of years. Today, it preserves diverse wildlife and cultural resources. On the edge of Lake Maggiore is the 245-acre Boyd Hill Nature Preserve in St. Petersburg. Alligators and wading birds are visible from a boardwalk. Additional ecosystems offer walking and bicycling through hardwood hammocks and sand pine scrub. Raccoons, armadillos, gopher tortoises, bald eagles and other birds of prey are home here. Tram tours are available. Brooker Creek Preserve — at 8,700 acres, the largest natural area locally — is rich with forested wetlands and pine flatwoods and the home of a multitude of wildlife, including deer that graze along the nearly 5 miles of hiking trails. Fort De Soto Park is a birder’s paradise, with more than 300 species identified over the years among these five interconnected islands, or keys. Clam Bayou Nature Preserve in Gulfport features walking trails, and the estuary is a good paddling destination to see manatees and dolphins. The 31 acres of the Largo Central Nature Preserve is where you might see snowy egrets, squawking Quaker parrots, peacocks, roseate spoonbills, pileated woodpeckers and ospreys clutching fish in their talons as they fly overhead. Alligators, marsh rabbits and turtles are spotted here. Boca Ciega Millennium Park in Seminole is a stop on the Great Florida Birding Trail. Kayak or observe from a 35-foot observation tower. The woods are so dense at Sawgrass Lake Park that you would hardly know that a busy highway is directly to its east. A shady boardwalk wends through much of the 400-acre wildlife-filled park.

SEE HOW OUR GARDENS GROW

SUNKEN GARDENS WEEDON ISLAND PRESERVE

Still imbued with the charm of an old-timey Florida attraction, the 100-year-old Sunken Gardens is a botanical oasis in the midst of bustling St. Petersburg. See thousands of tropical plants and flowers as well as its trademark pink flamingos. You’ll be surprised just how many species of palms there are at the Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum, where more than 500 palms and cycads representing 150 species from around the world grow at its picturesque location on the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront. The key word is gardens at the lovingly cultivated Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. Themed gardens include tropical fruits, vegetables, palms, succulents and butterflies. V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 43


A TASTE OF TAMPA BAY


EXPLORE our 70 new shops, restaurants and spas.

DISCOVER local treasures.

EXPERIENCE world class art. 0760MKT-0918

Visit us at TampaAirport.com or follow us @FlyTPA


SHOPPING VisitSPC.com/Shopping

GREEN BENCHES: St. Pete residents know all about green benches. The iconic seats first appeared around the city in the early 1900s conveying sunshine, outdoor living, and friendliness. Bench City makes replicas for your home. $350 and up. benchcity.com.

RARE JEWELRY: Stop by Rock Shop, St. Pete’s rare gemstone boutique and full service jeweler, for exquisite baubles. Store owner Carlos Lopez hand carved this shark’s tooth necklace from Sleeping Beauty Turquoise. $1,500. rockshopjewelry.com.

MOJO BAG: Get your spiritual game in check with a custom blended satchel from Christy’s Enchanted Notions in St. Pete. A mix of crystals, gemstones and herbs will suit your needs, be it love, sleep, friendship, prosperity or more. $10. enchantednotions.net.

shopULENCE

GOURMET CHOCOLATES: The little edible gems from Belleair’s William Dean Chocolates are so sought after, even celebrities have to have them. Whoopi Goldberg recently brought a box to Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show. $100 per box. williamdeanchocolates.com.

COLD BREW COFFEE: Florida’s original canned cold brew and nitro brew comes from Made Coffee, based in St. Pete but sold at locations all over the area in flavors from chai to chocolate. $11.99 for a 4-pack. madecannery.com.

46 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S

GLASS ART: Visit the most extensive art and glass gallery on Florida’s west coast right in Safety Harbor at Syd Entel Galleries and Susan Benjamin Glass, featuring works including this ornate glass seashell from artist Adam Kaser. $330. sydentelgalleries.com.

BEARD OIL: No one likes a messy beard. Tame, moisturize and freshen up with handcrafted blood orange and basil beard oil from St. Pete’s Bodhi Basics. $12.50. bodhibasics.com.


LOCAL RECORDS: Be a part of St. Pete’s indie music scene at Daddy Kool Records, the coolest shopping stop for vinyl since 1985. They sell new, used and rare vinyl singles and LPs, CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs on the artsy 600 Block. $10 and up. daddykool.com.

FLORIDA LOOKS: Wear it loud and proud with a shamelessly local shirt, like this flamingo sunset muscle tank from Largo’s Sunshine State Goods. $26. sunshinestategoods.com.

SALT WATER TAFFY: Mouth watering yet? Get a box of timeless sweets from Zeno’s Boardwalk Sweet Shop on John’s Pass in Madeira Beach. Mix and match flavors, sort by color and more. $8.99 and up. worldsmostfamoustaffy.com.

ELECTRIC BIKE: Rent or buy a Pedego Electric Bike at the brand’s family-run Dunedin store situated along the 75-mile Pinellas Trail, and choose to pedal or not. $2,795 and up to buy. pedegoelectricbikes.com.

LOBSTER BITES: Visit The Pearl Restaurant on Treasure Island for sophisticated seafood including these lobster bites. Sauteed chunks of succulent lobster in garlic herb butter. $18. thepearlfinedining.com

SMALL BATCH HONEY: Honey Feast small batch beekeeper honey offers a variety of Florida raw, hemp and wildflower honey, sold at local culinary destination Locale Market in St. Pete. $5 and up. honeyfeast.com.

A TARPON SPRINGS SPONGE: Head over to the historic Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks, the sponge capital of the world, and pick up the namesake item from one of the many gift shops. You’ll find all sorts of natural and synthetic sponges for decoration and bathing alike. The Tarpon Sponge Company is a good place to start. $2 and up. tarponsponge.com. V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 47


LOCAL MARKETS

SUPER MARKETS Explore St. Pete/ Clearwater’s seasonal and year-round markets for locally sourced products. Here are some favorites:

ST. PETERSBURG SATURDAY MORNING MARKET

SATURDAY MORNING MARKET

ST. PETE INDIE MARKET

With about 130 vendors, this outdoor market found in downtown St. Pete offers produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods and other artisanal foods, craftwork, jewelry, clothing and more. Enjoy breakfast or lunch and dance to live music. Saturdays, October through May, adjacent to Al Lang Stadium; June through August, Williams Park.

Everything that is handcrafted, sustainable, repurposed and recycled can be found at these hipster markets. Locations and days vary by season: • First Saturday of the month: Daytime market, October through May, outdoors at Green Bench Brewing; and June through September, indoors at Nova 535. • Fourth Friday of the month: evening market, year-round, outdoors at Green Bench Brewing; also June through September, indoors at the Station House.

BROCANTE VINTAGE MARKET St. Petersburg • Browse 15,000 square feet of antique furnishings, salvaged housewares, old toys and tools, and more at this indoor warehouse market. First Saturday and Sunday of every month.

GRAND CENTRAL MARKET Arts, crafts, collectibles. Punky’s Bar and Grill in the Grand Central District in St. Pete. First Saturday of every month.

THE ST. PETE SIDE LOT Vendors, DJ, food and drinks at this open-air market next to 3 Daughters Brewing. Usually last Thursday, most months.

CLEARWATER FARMERS MARKET Find fresh produce, meats, fish, cheeses and artisanal foods and trinkets. Saturdays, year-round.

DUNEDIN DOWNTOWN MARKET BROCANTE VINTAGE MARKET

CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE Central Pinellas 727-584-2321, centralchamber.biz Clearwater Beach 727-447-7600, beachchamber.com Clearwater Regional 727-461-0011, clearwaterflorida.org Dunedin 727-733-3197, dunedin-Fl.com 48 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S

DUNEDIN DOWNTOWN MARKET

Fridays and Saturdays, November through May; in June, Saturdays only.

GULFPORT FRESH MARKET A quirky mix, from fresh produce and hot sauces to gecko art and hand-blown glass. Tuesdays, yearround.

COREY AVENUE SUNDAY MARKET

Pioneer Park is filled with fresh produce and plants, arts and crafts, health products, food and live music.

St. Pete Beach • Locally made products, from honeys, soaps and jams to jewelry. Sundays, October through May.

Greater Palm Harbor Area 727-784-4287, palmharborcc.org Gulfport Area 727-344-3711, visitgulfportflorida.com Pinellas Park/Gateway 727-544-4777, pinellasparkchamber.com Safety Harbor 727-726-2890, safetyharborchamber.com Seminole 727-392-3245, seminolechamber.net

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LGBT VisitSPC.com/LGBT

St. Pete/Clearwater opens its heart to the LGBT community every day of the year, but especially during St. Pete Pride in June with 250,000+ visitors. As rainbow flags fly high, soak in the sun along the Gulf beaches, shop, dine, dance and celebrate who we are. THE BIG PARADE

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If it’s June, then welcome to St. Pete Pride, a month of celebrations of all things LGBT. The jewel in the crown is the epic three-day celebration whose highlight is the biggest Pride Parade in Florida. The TransPride March kicks off the parade that winds along the beautiful downtown waterfront as the sun sets. Watch along the route or find a spot in the Glamstands. Other events in June include Pride Nights with the Tampa Bay Rays and the Tampa Bay Rowdies,

which lead into the big weekend’s kickoff concert, rooftop parties, receptions and after-parties. The weekend concludes at the Pride Street Festival, with hundreds of vendors set up in the Grand Central District.

WHERE THE RAINBOW NEVER ENDS It’s easy to spend a day in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District— which locals affectionately call the “gayborhood” — with its boutiques, salons, yoga and antique shops. Before you head out, begin at St. Pete’s newly


SUNSET BEACH

PRIDE PARADE

expanded LGBT Welcome Center, in the center of the district. This bungalow dates to the 1920s, and it’s where you’ll find friendly folks with tips for exploring the district and the rest of the area. Catch live entertainment on the weekend at the center. Ready to explore? Walk the approximately 15-block Grand Central area or rent wheels at Pedego Electric Bike or use the city’s curbside Coast Bike rental: Just swipe and go. Recharge with dinner and drinks and take in a drag show at Punky’s Bar & Grill. There’s a British vibe in food and drink at Queens Head. You’ll find a friendly neighborhood vibe at the Lucky Star Lounge, and DJ parties and pool tourneys at the Garage on Central. Scoot a few blocks east and dance under the pulsating lights at Enigma Bar & Lounge in the Edge District.

CHEERS! BINGO! Clearwater’s Pro Shop Pub, circa 1976, is the oldest LGBT bar in Tampa Bay. Relax on the patio of this neighborhood watering hole. Less historic, more hysterical, is the zany fun at Clearwater’s Hamburger Mary’s, part of a chain with no-frills grub, cheap drinks and drag queen-hosted trivia and bingo. (Other locations in St. Pete and Tampa’s Ybor City.) Blur Nightclub in Dunedin hosts drag shows, where some of Tampa Bay’s best-loved queens strut their stuff. Check out weekend drag shows at Quench Lounge in Largo.

SAND, HO! All of St. Pete/Clearwater’s award-winning beaches are terrific, but if you’re looking for one that has been welcom-

PRIDE STREET FESTIVAL

ing LGBT folks for decades, head to Sunset Beach on the southern end of Treasure Island. Dig your toes into the sand and enjoy the Gulf waters as you soak in the vibe among the colorful homes and beach bars in this quiet slice of paradise.

SCREEN SAVORS Visiting in October? Don’t miss the Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, now in its 30th year. It showcases dozens of films from around the globe, from dramas and thrillers to musicals and comedies. Films screen over eight or nine days in venues such as the FreeFall Theatre and AMC Sundial in St. Petersburg, as well as the Tampa Theatre across the bay.

LGBT-FRIENDLY LODGINGS For a destination unto itself, check into the gay-owned Flamingo Resort in St. Petersburg and you may never have to leave. There are themed bars, a

pulsating dance club, cabaret shows and a sizzling poolside vibe. The Flamingo also caters weddings. There are more laid-back options in St. Pete, including charming B&Bs, such as the 1912 Arts and Crafts-style Dickens House Bed & Breakfast, and the Beach Drive Inn (circa 1910), both a short walk from the downtown waterfront and its dining options. Also downtown: For style-conscious guests, the boutique Hotel Indigo offers antique but chic guestrooms. And GayStPete House is a pet-friendly spot that also has a clothing-optional pool area. Along the beaches, the boutique, pet-friendly Bay Palms Waterfront Resort on Boca Ciega Bay in St. Pete Beach is just 200 steps from the sand; and up the beach, you’ll find pets are people too at the local fave Lorelei Resort on the Intracoastal Waterway in Treasure Island. In charming Dunedin, check out the Meranova Guest Inn, including a lovely mission-style cottage among its offerings.

BLUR NIGHTCLUB

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FERRIES VisitSPC.com/Ferries

AH2OY St. Pete/Clearwater locals and visitors love getting out on the water. So it’s no surprise ferries are one of the most popular – and scenic – ways to explore our area. Ditch the car, sit back and enjoy these sensational boat rides that offer access to pristine islands, thrilling Views of city skylines, and more.

EGMONT KEY

52 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S


CROSS-BAY FERRY

CROSS-BAY FERRY

the dock at St. Pete’s Vinoy Basin to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, and operates seasonally from November until April. thecrossbayferry.com SHELL KEY SHUTTLE: The uninhabited barrier island of Shell Key Preserve, located in the mouth of Tampa Bay, is accessible only by boat departing from Pass-A-Grille and St. Pete Beach. You can get there aboard the Shell Key Shuttle, via a 10-minute ride which is as picturesque as it is relaxing. With luck, a dolphin or manatee will pop up to swim beside you. No reservations are required. shellkeyshuttle.com

HUBBARD'S DOLPHIN WATCH

CROSS-BAY FERRY: The Cross-Bay Ferry is the most leisurely way to travel back and forth between St. Pete and Tampa’s downtown waterfronts. Climb aboard this spacious, comfortable ferry and glide across the calm waters of Tampa Bay. The 50-minute ride offers breathtaking views of each city’s skyline – not to mention cloud-bursting sunsets. Snacks and beverages, including beer and cocktails, are served on board to make your journey even more pleasant. The ferry sails from

EGMONT KEY FERRY: Egmont Key is another isolated island reachable only by boat. Hop aboard the Egmont Key Ferry at the Fort De Soto Bay Pier and enjoy a serene half-hour ride to the island. It’s famous for its 150-year-old lighthouse and military ruins, including Fort Dade, which dates back to the Spanish-American War. Snorkeling options are available on the ferry, which sails daily in the spring and summer and nearly every day in the fall and winter. hubbardsmarina.com CLEARWATER FERRY: The Clearwater Ferry is the perfect way to explore the retail shops, restaurants and endless tiki bars all around Clearwater and world-famous Clearwater Beach. Find a ferry at one of several waterfront locations and choose from several trip options offering voyages to and from downtown Clearwater, Clearwater Beach, North Beach, Island Estates, and the charming neighboring city of Dunedin. Each of the ferry’s lines operates on its own weekly schedule, so call or check website for details. clearwaterferry.com CALADESI ISLAND FERRY: Ranked among the country’s best beaches, pristine Caladesi Island State Park in Dunedin is another local landmark reached only by boat. Jump on the Caladesi Island Ferry at Honeymoon Island State Park and savor a smooth 20-minute ride over the turquoise waters of St. Joseph Sound. Along the way, you’re bound to spot playful dolphins as well as ospreys soaring overhead. The ferry operates every half hour daily. caladesiferry.org


surf sand& fun

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See why so many guest have Fallen in Love with our Hotel • Family owned and Operated since 1988 Make your reservations today at 1-800-257-8998 or PlazaBeachResorts.com

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Dip your toes into warm Gulf waters, relax on our sugar sand beaches, build

sandcastles with the kids or spend a romantic afternoon lounging by the pool. Whatever your idea of a perfect vacation, a Superior Small Lodging™ property has you covered. Choose from nearly 40 cottages, villas, inns, flats, small hotels, and bed & breakfasts.

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Choose from locations throughout the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area


family-friendly dog-friendly romantic getaways wedding destinations

Frenchy’s Oasis Motel❉

Page Terrace Beachfront Hotel❉

423 East Shore Dr., Clearwater Beach, FL 33767 727-446-6835

10500 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island, FL 33706 727-367-1997

18 Bay Esplanade, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767 727-446-6777

Coconut Inn❉

Havana Inn❉

Plaza Beach Hotel-Beachfront Resort❉

1007 Gulfway, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706 | 727-367-1305

4506 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, FL 33706 | 800-257-8998

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131 11th Ave., St. Pete Beach, FL 33706 | 727-367-1305

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Palm Pavilion Inn❉

Beachfront Sunsets

TripAdvisor Rated in Top 5

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Each has its own distinctive flavor. Among us, you’ll find properties with docks for fishing and boating enthusiasts, pet-friendly accommodations and perfect romantic getaways or wedding destinations. We’ll be happy to suggest places to see, dining experiences, unique shops and activities known only to the locals. Along the way, we’ll get to know you by name and you’ll become part of our family. Properties marked with an asterisk* are TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award winners. Independently owned and operated | Inspected annually by Superior Small Lodging™ | White Glove standards for quality and service


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DINING VisitSPC.com/Dining

TATE ISLAND GRILL

BUYA RAMEN

58 A M E R I C Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; S B E S T B E A C H E S

DOORIBAN

NOBLE CRUST


A view-to-die-for patio. Fresh sea breezes. Twinkling lights strung over a sidewalk café table. The vibe of a tony destination. There’s all this and more, as St. Pete/Clearwater has a sublime menu of feasts that tempt the senses even before you open the doors to some of the area’s best dining experiences. Choose from among these top restaurants recommended by award-winning food critic Laura Reiley of Florida’s largest newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times.

s i d h THE

ON DINING $

MOST DISHES UNDER $15

$$ MOST ENTREES UNDER $25 $$$ MOST ENTREES MORE THAN $25

WATERSIDE ● TATE ISLAND GRILL • Clearwater Beach; $$ Caretta’s is the big gun at the swanky Sandpearl Resort, water views vying with raw bar towers for maximum eye candy. Tate Island Grill is the more relaxed, casual dining option on property with tables that allow for sand between your toes. Each day someone is chosen to ring the bell just as the sun rests against the Gulf’s horizon. With grilled sugarcane shrimp and Gulf grouper specials, the restaurant maximizes its culinary heritage, in a setting that offers Adirondack chairs, a fire pit and live music on the beachfront boardwalk.

● CRABBY BILL’S • Indian Rocks Beach; $$ The Loder family started Captain Bill’s back in 1975, then sold it and moved on to the unnamed next project. As Matt Loder remembers it, one of his sisters said, “We love eating crabs, we love selling crabs and Dad is pretty crabby.” Not sure how patriarch Bill Loder, who passed away recently, felt about that assessment, but the original Crabby Bill’s in Indian Rocks Beach was launched in 1983. The business has grown, with franchises and offshoots, but the flagship store is going strong, staffed, as Matt Loder said, by “cousins, in-laws and outlaws,” with a menu that lavishes attention on shrimp, crab and local grouper.

● CADDY’S ON THE BEACH • Treasure Island; $ You may encounter a thong-clad octogenarian with a parrot on her shoulder; both can drink you under the table. Caddy’s is prime sand, prime sun and a gently graduated entry into Gulf waters. You’re drinking out of plastic cups, the food is serviceable and waitresses need a lot of sunblock to cover what’s exposed. But there’s live music and housemade brisket, and Sunset Beach is one of the only places where alcoholic drinks are allowed on the sand.

● FRENCHY’S ROCKAWAY GRILL • Clearwater Beach; $$ Frenchy’s is synonymous with Clearwater Beach. There are several locations, but if you want big and beachy, Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill is your pastel-colored destination for indoor/outdoor dining with a white-sand beach and sparkling Gulf waters. The grouper sandwich is a favorite, as is the rich she-crab soup. Laid-back bands play ’70s and ’80s favorites. Enjoy the vibe of the beachfront deck, and don’t forget the sunscreen for that walk on the beach.

CASSIS AMERICAN BRASSERIE

V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 59 BASCOM’S CHOP HOUSE

CAFE LARGO


DINING VisitSPC.com/Dining

SEA SALT ST. PETE

● PALM PAVILION GRILL & BAR • Clearwater Beach; $$ The spacious layout of the white wood-frame building and its swift servers accommodate large crowds comfortably and efficiently. Even at sunset, there’s rarely a wait. While away vacation hours on a big wraparound porch, enjoying stunning views of Clearwater Beach’s shoreline and sugar-white sand, or dine indoors in the A/C. Full liquor and beer are served, and the PP makes the best pina colada in the South. The grub is better than average, too. Choose from grouper sandwiches, burgers and salads, Tampa-style Cubans and killer wings. Rock, folk, reggae and jazz performers entertain day and night.

SALT ROCK GRILL

THE READING ROOM

● SALT ROCK GRILL • Indian Shores; $$ How fresh is the fish? Boats unload daily to the docks at Salt Rock Grill, which boasts tropical views of the Intracoastal Waterway. In addition to its fresh seafood and raw bar, Salt Rock’s steaks – aged in-house – are cooked at a blistering 1,200 degrees. Wine lovers have a deep list from which to choose. Salt Rock is a recent recipient of the coveted Golden Spoon award by Florida Trend magazine. ● WOODY’S WATERFRONT • St. Pete Beach; $$ Woody’s Waterfront started as a tiny bait house in 1928. Back then it was burgers and such. It’s still burgers and such, only now they are accompanied by margaritas and live music six nights a week. Servers hustle through the patio, tight-set with high-gloss picnic tables and turquoise sun umbrellas, hefting paper-lined baskets of fried shrimp and the 60 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S

ultimate Woody burger. But be forewarned: Their tagline is “We’re so close to the water, your burger will get wet.”

SEAFOOD ● DIMITRI’S ON THE WATER • Tarpon Springs; $$$ When I want Greek pastries, it’s Hellas; lamb shanks, it’s Mykonos; souvlaki, it’s, well, Mr. Souvlaki. But for an overall sit-down meal, I go here. There is textbook avgolemono (egg and lemon soup), moussaka and spanakopita, all of it just a bit lighter than at many nearby restaurants. But my favorite dishes are the lemony whole roasted fish and a dish of chickpeas stewed with endive. ● OLDE BAY CAFÉ • Dunedin; $$ More outside than in, with a convivial marina-side deck on which to imbibe a

little craft beer with friends before getting down to the business of eating fresh fish. There are a few kinds each day, which you can have as a pair of messy tacos, in a sandwich or as a dinner. Owner Walt Wickman also has Hog Island Fish Camp, a casual Cracker-style spot nearby, but Olde Bay is the place for peel-and-eat shrimp or a grouper sandwich. ● SEA SALT ST. PETE • St. Petersburg; $$$ In the tony Sundial shopping complex in downtown St. Petersburg, sophisticated Sea Salt features a glass-fronted 22-foot wine wall with a lift inside so sommeliers can get to the good stuff, plus an opulent display of whole Gulf fish on ice at the entrance. The biggest draw may be the oysters, thanks to an aquaculture revolution sweeping the United States. Sea Salt regularly offers more than a dozen varieties from most of the major growing regions: European flat oysters, Pacifics, Kumamotos, Easterns and Olympias. And about the salt in Sea Salt: The chefs here use 130 different salts from around the world. Diners can also enjoy a dramatic tableside show as a roasted fish is filleted tableside. ● SNAPPER’S SEA GRILL • St. Pete Beach; $$ A seafood restaurant on the

beach, right across from the TradeWinds Island Grand Resort? Gotta be a tourist trap, right? Not on Dan Casey’s watch. He has slowly grown a little empire, with Snapper’s, nearby MadFish, set in a retro dining car, and a steakhouse, 1200 Chophouse, also close at hand. What sets Snapper’s apart is fresh-off-the-boat fish and a tremendous wine list served by a savvy staff. The menu has a slightly Floribbean palate, with fruity salsas and coconut, but the fundamentals are grouper and snapper.

AMERICAN UPSCALE ● BRICK & MORTAR • St. Petersburg; $$ It is little wonder that Brick & Mortar has received fierce praise from USA Today, Travel & Leisure and others. This spot, small and a bit homespun, is among the area’s most ambitious restaurants. There are anchor menu items with absurd Instagram documentation: the truffle fries, the octopus two ways and, a fave, the house beef carpaccio and – the showstopper – a house-made ravioli that, once punctured, seeps out leek and goat cheese mousse and velvety egg yolk.


PARKSHORE GRILL

GRACE

Parkshore has expanded its vegetable and vegetarian offerings. And weekend brunch is a sure bet. ● THE READING ROOM • St. Petersburg; $$ Enter the dining room and you’ll find it masculine, unfussy and spare. The food at the Reading Room is the best kind of farm-to-fork New American, with ravishing plates that make great use of vegetables. A simple chicken entrée becomes a marvel with a changing array of accoutrements. It’s simple and delicious, elevated by deft preparation with an eye to accommodation. ● THE RESTORATIVE • Dunedin; $$ With no phone and no reservations, this attractive, small dining room has an open kitchen that almost seems like a playground of mad scientists. Sit at the bar for lunch and eat your stunning manchego grilled cheese and watch the wizards at work. They offer cheese and charcuterie options, a single sandwich, a single substantial dish and a couple of nibbles, all of it constantly changing. The formula at dinner is five small plates, three larger plates and three desserts.

Featured items celebrate seafood that reminds you where you are: expertly prepared whole local fish such as sheepshead, snapper and grouper. ● CAFÉ PONTE • Clearwater; $$$ Chef Chris Ponte, a James Beard semifinalist, has built his restaurant into one of the area’s go-to places for fine dining. With that cred, it’s no surprise that not long ago he did the food for a 375-person sit-down dinner for Sting concert. Dining rooms at Ponte’s eponymous restaurant are routinely spiffed up, and his menu tweaked to reflect current trends. Main courses have classical French underpinnings, from a potato-scaled halibut to the perfect pool of dusky bordelaise with a

butter-tender filet. Before the dinner rush, Café Ponte offers a four-course prix-fixe menu. Later, for bigger spenders, there’s a six-course tasting menu. This is special-occasion dining. ● GRACE • Pass-a-Grille; $$ Big-city food comes from this beachy charmer that’s not your usual beach restaurant. Just a few steps from the Gulf of Mexico, Grace’s vibe is vivacious, with banquettes, a tomato-red wall, and a gorgeous mirror-backed bar. Playful color photos of underwater dogs caper on the walls and cocktails are named after local canines like Queen Kong and Mrs. Beasley. But make no mistake, this is serious food. A simple menu focuses on sophisticated offerings,

from a grilled Caesar to perhaps its best entrée: a lemon and herb-stuffed chicken breast with hints of garlic. ● PARKSHORE GRILL • St. Petersburg; $$$ In the midst of Restaurant Row on Beach Drive in St. Pete, Parkshore’s expansive sidewalk patio puts diners up close with the waterfront. The mission is upscale American food, with steaks and sturdy fillets of grouper. Their beef, all prime, is sourced from a program that ensures it has never been exposed to steroids, antibiotics, growth hormones, chemicals or additives. For non-meat eaters there’s sustainably raised cobia, swordfish and some other less well-known species that don’t put as big a strain on Gulf fisheries.

● STILLWATERS TAVERN • St. Petersburg; $$ A glamorous dining room features all of today’s buzzy accoutrements (Edison bulbs, subway tile, tufted leather bar chairs and a subtle nautical theme), as well as an executive chef, Jeffrey Jew, a Culinary Institute of America grad and contestant on Top Chef. This is Americana with a twist – a recent grilled Norwegian salmon sat atop cheddar grits with braised greens and chopped vegetables and a dribble of umami ham jus. Creative bar snacks pair nicely with smart craft cocktails. The dog-friendly sidewalk patio is shoulder to shoulder with the lineup of restaurants on this stretch of downtown waterfront. V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 61


DINING VisitSPC.com/Dining

ASIAN/INDIAN ● BUYA RAMEN • St. Petersburg; $ Guy Fieri pulled up to Buya in his trademark red convertible Camaro to film a recent episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives for the Food Network and he was hooked. Enter the Japanese gastropub and you’ll be greeted by striking murals created by local artist Michael Vahl. And the ramen? So good. The tonkotsu broth is lush: Blanched chicken and pork bones are simmered with roasted vegetables for 22 hours before being strained and married with noodles and lush toppers like duck confit, fatty-edged pork belly or braised short rib. Cocktails keep with the creative Japanese theme and the bar has an extensive list of sophisticated Japanese whiskies. ● DECCAN SPICE • Clearwater; $ Northern and Southern Indian dishes play out on a former dance floor space for a very respectable buffet. At lunchtime you’ll find hooded steam trays split between familiar vegetarian and chicken dishes. Dinnertime is when to go, as everything is a la carte. Try Mysore masala dosa, huge, crispedged crepes rolled around a filling of hot chutney and soft potato curry; uthappam, kind of a cross between a crepe and an omelet, studded with veggies; and idli, a savory rice. And although many Southern Indian people are not drinkers, you may choose to pair it all with an Indian-inflected craft cocktail. ● DOORIBAN • St. Petersburg; $ The rest of the world caught on to the allure of bitter flavors and fermentation years ago. Now St. Pete/Clearwater has, too: “Bring on the kimchi and gochujang!” At Dooriban, your table will be crowded with a passel of Korean banchan bowls (cabbage kimchi, cubes of radish kimchi called kkakdugi, sesame spinach called sigeumchi namul and a changing lineup), which you alternate among to cool the heat of ddeok boki (a gochujang-amped stew dominated by stir-fried rice cake logs, kind of the Korean answer to gnocchi) or budae-jjigae, a hearty stew crowded with Spam, hot dogs and kimchi. All this is set in what was originally a fast-food drive-through.

ICHICORO ANE

combining small plates and a whole lot of fun. Need proof? Order the daily sashimi platter, which arrives atop its own strobing illuminated disco platter. The space is divided up with blondewood slats that somehow hint at fusuma panels and shoji rice paper doors. But it’s not all Japanese-inspired decor: There’s a DJ booth and a graffitied nook perfect for selfies, with a private lounge lined with outrageously cool wallpaper. While sipping on an inventive cocktail, explore the multipage flip-up small-plate menu.

● ICHICORO ANE • St. Petersburg; $ Ichicoro Ane is more than just ramen,

● GATEWAY TO INDIA • St. Petersburg; $$ Sam Kumar had four restaurants in his native Sydney, Australia, before he relocated to Florida and opened Gateway to India Sarasota a few years ago. Unlike a lot of Indian restaurants in the area, the spot was atmospheric and a bit hip, with a lively soundtrack (sometimes Bollywood, sometimes American pop), lavish tapestries draped from the ceiling and moody twinkling chandeliers. He then replicated the concept in St. Pete: cozy and sumptuously decorated, again with the hip soundtrack. There’s a lunchtime buffet, more lavish on the weekends, but a la carte options give the full range of familiar dishes, from tikka masala to a range of tandoor goodies.

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● LA V • St. Petersburg; $ V is for Vietnamese, the stylish cafe proffering

BUYA RAMEN

an expanded menu of the noodles, soups and banh mi sandwiches that made the lovely Thuy Le’s 34th Street N spot a foodie destination. Le herself is a smiling presence in the dining room, where high ceilings and high spirits can make things noisy. With 60 varieties of smoothies and boba teas (those teas with the fat straws and balls of tapioca bobbing at the bottom) and fairly portable, herb-bright vermicelli bowls topped with lemongrass chicken, La V has had victory as a top takeout lunch spot for downtown workers. Prices are mostly under $15.

FRENCH ● ALESIA RESTAURANT • St. Petersburg; $ With a great, pet-friendly outdoor patio and a spare, sunny dining room, this VietnameseFrench café is one of the prettiest hangouts in St. Petersburg. Whether you linger over a latte or camp out over cappuccino, there’s no reason you can’t accompany that with a dumpling soup or a plate of garlicky sauteed baby bok choy. The Vietnamese-French café isn’t fusion as much as it offers both cuisines side by side.


FARMTABLE CUCINA

IL RITORNO

ITALIAN

CASSIS

In other words, you’ll get great croissant sandwiches as well as delicious banh mi. ● CASSIS AMERICAN BRASSERIE • St. Petersburg; $$ Cementing Beach Drive as the “it” spot in St. Pete, its decor is stunning. Yellow walls, unimpeded sightlines across the generously portioned restaurant to the lovely bar and out to the umbrellaed sidewalk tables; a black-and-white checkered floor that has that Parisian feel. Born in Macon, France, executive chef Jeremy Duclut worked in Philadelphia with George Perrier from Le Bec Fin for 12 years. Duclut was awarded the title of Chopped champion on the Food Network show presided over by Ted Allen. His culinary approach at Cassis is classic French brasserie staples with American comfort foods thrown into the mix. ● PARTS OF PARIS • Safety Harbor; $$ Parts of Paris is ensconced in a

charming 1936 Florida bungalow. (Safety Harbor is swimming in them, and most of the area’s savvy restaurateurs have availed themselves.) The bouillabaisse is a constant, changing a bit daily depending on what seafood has come in fresh, but it always has that heady je ne sais quoi of white wine and fennel. For brunch, dine on the patio shaded by majestic old oaks. ● CAFE LARGO • Largo; $$$ With a décor that you find in the most genial Parisian bistros, this French restaurant lets you hear yourself talk, with pacing that allows for moony-eyed romance. The vibe works well, considering Café Largo dominates with dessert, such as the Grand Marnier souffle (order at the beginning, and you and your sweetie must both order it). It’s also one of the few local restaurants making its own, utterly excellent bread, and its execution of classical French dishes is utterly on point.

● BAVARO’S PIZZA NAPOLETANA & PASTARIA • St. Petersburg; $$ Tomato sauce is a San Marzano puree, not complicated but bright and balanced, the cow’s milk mozzarella soft and velvety. A less-is-more mantra with pizzas is most satisfying: A margherita pie or simple mushroom trumped the pizzas with lots of toppings. The best strategy at Bavaro’s is to gather your besties on a Wednesday (half off all wines), then share first an appetizer like the bruschetta or the tender ricotta beef/pork meatballs, then the verde salad with its lemon-licked peppery leaves of arugula, shaves of nutty Parm and bursts of cherry tomato. Bavaro’s has a stylish industrial indoor-outdoor design with rollup garage doors. ● FARMTABLE CUCINA • St. Petersburg; $$$ Celebrity chefowner Michael Mina and executive chef Jeffrey Hileman have reinvented the restaurant atop the gourmet Locale Market with fresh, housemade Italian pastas, pizzas and breads. There’s a special eight-course chef’s dinner in a private dining room. Outdoors, plentiful patio seating overlooks the plaza and its namesake sundial and sparkling fountain. Sophisticated, shareable plates include a ragu of wild mushrooms with a softly poached egg. One recent dinner featured a 16-ounce

Niman Ranch 35-day dry-aged Kansas City strip, sumptuous and easily shared among dinner companions. ● IL RITORNO • St. Petersburg; $$$ Take a seat at the chef’s bar at Il Ritorno for dinner and a show. The prix-fixe dinner of eight to 13 courses gives you a front-row view to everything happening in the kitchen. You’ll also get Food Network patter from chef/ co-owner David Benstock, who presents a steady vision of contemporary Italian. Benstock presented a James Beard House dinner in New York City in 2017. Wine knowledge and service standards are also a big part of what makes Il Ritorno one of the area’s top offerings. French osetra caviar? Shaves of black winter truffles? Short rib mezzaluna? Yes, yes and yes. ● MAZZARO’S ITALIAN MARKET • St. Petersburg; $ This is a local treasure, absolutely swarmed in high season: Fresh bread, good wine, a butcher counter, handmade pasta, the widest array of cheeses and the most crowded parking lot in St. Petersburg would be attraction enough. But belly up to the deli counter and take home a monster sandwich, or more prudently, explore the prepared goods, meat, salad and vegetables with lively spicing.

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DINING VisitSPC.com/Dining

MEXICO LINDO

● PIA’S TRATTORIA • Gulfport; $$ On charming Beach Boulevard in this quaint waterfront town adjacent to Boca Ciega Bay, Pia’s has a secret ingredient. Meet the Arcobaleno pastamaker, a magical machine that makes a whole lot of different shapes and sizes, faster which allows Pia’s to more easily accommodate a robust vegan clientele. With this pasta expansion, the menu now gives more guidance on which pasta with which sauce (it previously was mix-andmatch), and the Pia’s special menu now changes often. Desserts are a high point, classically Italian and clearly homemade. ● PIZZERIA GREGARIO • Safety Harbor; $ This small, charming restaurant in cozy Safety Harbor makes a delicious pie. Order at the counter (pizza, but also definitely a salad, maybe the beet) and take a seat to watch the magic. It’s about economy of motion, knowing the dough and the fire. Ingredients are locally sourced, but dough is the passion here, with explorations into wheat from cold stone-milled to hard red winter.

LATIN/ MEXICAN ● BODEGA • St. Petersburg; $ Welcome to Bodega, the beloved purveyor of lechon and Cuban sandwiches, pollo asado and cafe con leche, in St. Petersburg’s edgy Edge District. This walkup, mostly outdoor, café bustles with its pedestrian-friendly vibe. Their Latin street food keeps the crowds queued up. If in doubt, get the Cuban or pollo asado sandwich.

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● CASA TINA • Dunedin; $$ Tina and Javier Avila’s place has become part of the fabric of the charming downtown with celebrations like Mexican Independence Day, Cena de Nochebuena and Dia de los Muertos. This is fairly upscale, with loads of vegetarian and vegan options and a reluctance to lean too heavily on the deep fryer. First chips and salsa are free, so plan accordingly. Fajitas get high marks, but I tend to head for the chile rellenos, the chiles en nogado (stuffed poblanos) or the sweet-smoldery mole poblano veggie enchiladas. ● CASITA TAQUERIA • St. Petersburg; $ When Casita Taqueria opened in 2011, it was an obvious labor of love. Newlywed owners Don and Gwen Arvin had never been in the biz before but missed the good tacos of their travels. They got pushed out of their original location when Trader Joe’s came to town (life is about choices), but relocated to a charming space in the lively Grand Central District and set to work transforming it visually. The menu features nine kinds of fillings for tacos, which can also form the protein action in a sandwich (torta), rice bowl or salad. Order at the counter and grab a seat; your paper bag of chips and plastic ramekins of salsa and guac will find you, along with your plastic tray crowded with taco baskets. ● MEXICO LINDO • Pinellas Park, Clearwater; $ Both locations are solid examples of the classic Mexican grocery/cafe. Not much atmosphere and only about eight tables, this is where you grab a soda and stand at

CASA TINA

the counter wrestling with your conscience about how many tacos to order (at under $2 each, your conscience usually convinces you three is right). The al pastor and carne asada are great, but my favorite is carnitas. House gorditas are also notable, and the Clearwater location’s bakery makes nice concha and other pan dulces. ● RED MESA • St. Petersburg; $$ Peter and Shawn Veytia, their son Pete and

chef Chris Fernandez rotate from the flagship 20-year-old Red Mesa south to the sprawling, clubby Red Mesa Cantina, and then west to the quick-serve/market Red Mesa Mercado. Fernandez’s most ambitious work can be seen at the flagship, where the cuisine is regional Mexican with an emphasis on sophisticated plates at dinner and speedier, more streamlined lunch offerings. Try the guacamole sampler.


are on the 800-square-foot patio with its retractable roof and remote-control windows, but the funky-industrial dining room is also sun-dappled during the day. The brunch menu is the right mix of sweet and savory, breakfast and lunch fare. They offer a free mimosa, but you may have to prod your server to reveal this fact. The chicken and waffles rank with the area’s best, with a bewitching bourbon pecan butter and a cup of watermelon salad.

CASITA TAQUERIA

RED MESA CANTINA

STEAKHOUSE ● BASCOM’S CHOP HOUSE • Clearwater; $$$ A Feather Sound stalwart since 2002, Bascom’s has a broad and loyal following, especially amongst businessfolk, because they do it right. Meals are assuredly paced, needs anticipated, suggestions made with tact and solicitousness. In a warren of intimate rooms, you’ll find diners preoccupied with certified Angus steaks wet-aged for a minimum of 28 days. Those steaks may be gilded with

lobster Béarnaise or au poivre sauce and accessorized with au gratin potatoes and creamed spinach. In short, classic steakhouse fare, balanced with a lineup of straightforward but luxurious seafood dishes and a wine list weighted to big reds. ● ROCOCO STEAK • St. Petersburg; $$$ From side dishes to musical selections, Rococo has brought a subversive eye to reinventing the steakhouse, its presence alone a novelty in downtown St. Pete, where

there is an odd paucity of steakhouses. It offers a range of smaller steaks, shareable appetizers, a wine list that goes far beyond big-name California cabs and a cocktail list that isn’t dark-liquor dominated. And the décor has done away with the traditional paradigm of dark wood and “old boys’ club” atmosphere, with deep gray walls, white cove ceilings and ruby-red chandeliers.

BRUNCH/ BREAKFAST ● NOBLE CRUST • St. Petersburg; $$ The Italian-Southern fusion pizza-pastaetc. hotspot feels just right for brunch. In virtually all weather, the best seats

● THE OHANA CAFE • Dunedin; $ Dunedin, a brunch town, demands its due. It boasts about a dozen places that get swamped on Sundays, and increasingly this is one of them. Vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free-ers and paleo folks will all find solace here. I’m a big fan of owner Teresa Pablo’s loco moco bowls, a classic Hawaiian dish popularized in the 1940s, which is probably why at brunch I was smitten by the Da Kine bowl: brown rice topped with organic black beans, organic scrambled eggs, chopped tomato, avo and cilantro. ● PROINO BREAKFAST CLUB • Largo; $ This place is vast, sporting a huge number of seats indoors and on a covered patio. It reads like a chain, which it should because the owner has nine such breakfast places in Montreal called l’Eggsoeufs. The kitchen seems to have a real knack with fruit-oriented things, from simple yogurts topped with fresh fruit to smoothies, including a charmer that is half kiwi, half strawberry, packed festively in layers into a tall glass. Look around the dining room and you’ll see people tucking into waffles, French toasts and crepes topped with berries and custard and whipped cream. ● TRIP’S DINER • St. Petersburg, Seminole; $ Gordon Stevenson hit it just right. In 2012, he took over the space vacated by beloved but crusty diner Dave’s, kitted it out with wonderful Burgert Brothers black-and-white historic photos of St. Petersburg and opened this classic nostalgic diner. It was an immediate hit, with sturdy, egg-centric breakfast fare and bottomless coffee. A cozy-booth, jukebox, breakfast-all-day kind of place, where meatloaf and cheese grits are in order and eggs Benedict will set you back around $8. Pancakes, called hubcakes because of their hubcap-like size, have been more effective than Lunesta in clinical trials.

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DINING VisitSPC.com/Dining

LOCAL CLASSICS ● BOB HEILMAN’S BEACHCOMBER • Clearwater Beach; $$$ Restaurants come and go, but not Bob Heilman’s, which opened in 1948 and remains true to its “American Upscale” cuisine. With white tablecloth service, enjoy the dramatic dining rooms, one dark and clubby with live piano, the other with lots of light and soaring ceilings, as you savor that New York strip or dig into that Alaska meringue ice cream pie. But hold on. Before dinner begins, you’ll have to go through the absolutely old-school relish tray: Applesauce, cottage cheese, corn relish or pickles and beets is an old-fashioned start that longtime Heilman’s fans embrace. ● CONEY ISLAND SANDWICH SHOP • St. Petersburg; $ St. Petersburg’s top dog is spry for a nonagenarian. Here’s where things get confusing. Nathan’s originated at the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues on Coney Island in 1916, just 10 years before this Coney Island got its start. So you’re thinking this is St. Pete’s outpost of Coney Island-style dogs. Nope. It’s Michiganstyle dogs with coney sauce. The style got its start in the Greek- and Macedonian-owned diners of the Detroit area: hot dogs smothered in seasoned ground beef (no beans), plus mustard and onions. The St. Pete stalwart, the oldest restaurant in the ’Burg, traditionally does one stripe of mustard, but they’ll go heavy if you ask (but no, shudder, ketchup). ● MUNCH’S SUNDRIES & RESTAURANT • St. Petersburg; $ It’s time travel, pure and simple. Munch’s Sundries & Restaurant’s booths are lined with Lakewood Elementary class pictures from the 1960s (a lot of unfortunate haircuts); on the walls are tacked-up, and down-home, morsels of wisdom; and on Tuesdays every table is topped with the fried chicken feast — two pieces, mashed potatoes and gravy. Some people swear by the fried green tomatoes and open-faced roast beef sandwich, others applaud the crazy-cheap breakfast offerings, but all hail the house milkshakes. ● TED PETERS FAMOUS SMOKED FISH • South Pasadena; $ It has been

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BOB HEILMAN’S BEACHCOMBER

MUNCH'S

featured on the Food Network, but that hasn’t made Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish uppity. Prized for its laid-back style and inviting picnic tables, the big-time draw is, of course, the smoked fish: Smoked fish spread with saltines is fabled, the salmon is excellent, the mullet is an intensely fishy acquired taste. But Ted Peters also produces beloved cheeseburgers and German potato salad that is balanced precariously between the zing of vinegar and the smoke of bacon. This is a beer-drinking establishment, it closes early and for a price they will smoke your catch for you (they can even make kingfish taste good, and that’s saying something).

SWEETS ● PACIUGO • St. Petersburg; $ With less air introduced during the manufacturing, gelato is denser, softer and creamier than American ice cream. It

often incorporates purees of fruits or nuts, and is kept at a warmer temperature, making it more amenable to cups than cones. It’s made with milk, not cream, so it has about 70 percent less fat than many ice creams. There are a


GROUPER

(SWAH-REY)

Stop in at just about any beach eatery in St. Pete/Clearwater and you’re likely to see one particular favorite on the menu: grouper. This mild, light and slightly sweet fish is served pretty much any way you can imagine.

WHERE TO TRY IT Asian Grouper tacos at RumFish Grill on St. Pete Beach, Del Sol Grouper at Marina Cantina on Clearwater Beach, Potato Crusted Grouper at Grace Restaurant on Pass-a-Grille or a fresh-caught traditional grouper sandwich found… just about anywhere locally.

WHAT’S THE CATCH? bunch of flavors to love at Paciugo (pa-CHU-go), but the ultimate Italian experience is a scoop of triple vanilla gelato melting gently in a cup of intense espresso. ● HAZE ICE CREAM • Indian Shores; $ After, or even during, a glorious sun-filled day along the Gulf beaches, treat yourself to some ice cream. But not just any ice cream. Haze Ice Cream features fresh homemade ice creams and made-to-order milkshakes. Expect the unexpected with more than 40 flavors to choose from including gluten free and dairy free varieties. Locals rave about the family-owned ice cream shop and TripAdvisor rated it 5-stars. Find it on the eastern side of the island along Gulf Blvd. ● (SWAH-REY) • St. Petersburg; $ Leslie-Ann and Gregg Ciccone opened this dessert bar at the end of 2015. New to St. Pete, they fairly swiftly showed themselves to be strong

Grouper varieties include black, red, scamp, yellowfin, yellowmouth, rock hind, coney, warsaw and snowy, but the most common from here are gag and red.

PACIUGO

VisitSPC.com ⁄ Dining

community partners, sponsoring charity fundraisers and local events and equipping their shop with modern essentials like free Wi-Fi, USB ports and plugs, and “pupcakes” for dogs, who are resoundingly welcome. There are two-bite mini cakes that you can take upscale with what they call a “hook up,” where the mini hovers at the lip of the shot glass of your beverage choice (they offer draft beers, wines, teas and intensely good Kahwa coffees made on a very fancy-looking espresso machine). Once you’ve gotten the lay of the land with the minis, you can throttle up with a full-sized dessert, paying special attention to the coconut cake, carrot and red velvet.

Options listed here are just a small sampling of all the culinary offerings in the St. Pete/Clearwater area. For a complete selection searchable by cuisine, community, beachfront, etc., see VisitSPC.com/Dining

FUN FISH FACT Popular Clearwater Beach restaurant Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill sells about 52,000 grouper sandwiches each year, and that’s just on the weekends.

CELEBRATE GROUPER Each summer, St. Pete/ Clearwater honors the fish with its own week: Grouper Week. For more information on all things grouper, including delicious recipes from local restaurants, log on to GrouperWeek.com

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GULP

BREWERIES GulpCoast.com

TARPON SPRINGS

9

14 11

PALM HARBOR

4 13

7

DUNEDIN 1 3

15 5

6 42 2 12

OLDSMAR

10

SAFETY HARBOR

20 18

From Tarpon Springs to downtown St. Pete, we have more breweries per square mile than any other destination in Florida. This is one of the reasons Forbes magazine recognized this area as a top 10 brewing community, rivaling Portland, Oregon.

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REGION 1 > NORTH

24 19

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CLEARWATER

16

LARGO 22

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SEMINOLE

Caledonia Brewing

PINELLAS PARK 29

REGION 2

REGION 3

6 15 8 3 2 7 17 9 14 4 1 13

587 Main St., Dunedin 727-351-5105 CaledoniaBrewing.com

M, T, W, Th: 3pm-12am F, Sa: 12pm-12am Su: 12-10pm

1. Arkane

Region 2, which runs 2. Big Storm of St. through the middle At the southern Clearwater Social features end of the Gulp 3.Coast, Region Pete/Clearwater, 3 is a combination of beach and downtown Thumb Crooked all St. Pete craft beer4.meccas. brews a couple hole-in-the-w 5. Grindhaus Brew Lab 1. 3 Daughters some 7. Green Bench spots along2. with 6. Pair O’ Dice Avid gems 13. Pesky Pelican 8. If I Brewed7. the massive warehouse World Rapp 3.some Cage of the 14.Pinellas Ale Works 9. Inoculum sprinkled inPop's Hot Rod Hefe Rat Arsed Southern Lights The Horned Stallion 8. 4. inCycle 10.Mad Beach Brewing Waters15. Right Around the Corner smaller towns the area. 5.5% 5. Dissent 6. Flying Boat

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MADEIRA BEACH

13

2

7 Printing Giving new life to the old Dunedin 16 Company building and giving a nod to the city’s 6 prominent Celtic heritage with its romantic Roman 11 namesake for Scotland. You’ll find all styles on tap in a tasting room featuring exposed original terracotta block and reclaimed wood from the Belleview Biltmore Hotel.

Scotch Ale, 9.8% Co. 9. Troubled 11. Mastry’s 12. Overflow

16. SeaDIPA, Dog8.5% Treasure Island 17. St. Pete Brewing Co.

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30 34

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39 32 27 26 31 41 25 37

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TREASURE ISLAND

ST. PETE

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33 38 28 43

Snag a free passport to collect stamps for beer-inspired swag and more information at GulpCoast.com

1 7VENTH SUN BREWERY: This tiny, dog-friendly, brewery has a small tasting room, storefront and outdoor patio. It has a stellar reputation for small-batch IPA’s, oak-aged sour beer and spirit barrel-aged beers. Cans and bottles are now available for purchase directly from the brewery. 2 CALEDONIA BREWING: Giving new life to the old Dunedin Printing Company building, Caledonia Brewing is a nod to the city’s prominent Celtic heritage with its romantic Roman namesake for Scotland. You’ll find all styles on tap in a tasting room featuring exposed original terracotta block. 3 CUENI BREWING CO.: Located conveniently along the Pinellas Trail in Dunedin, you can walk or even bike right up to Cueni and enjoy its large outdoor patio or the indoor space. Cueni recently won 3 medals at the Best of Florida Beer Competition. 4 DE BINE BREWING COMPANY: A microbrewery in the heart of Palm Harbor, you’ll find locally inspired craft

beers in a laid back and welcoming tasting room. The industrial-style tasting room features a generous bar and communal tables. Food trucks are featured on select nights. 5 DUNEDIN BREWERY: Dunedin Brewery is Florida’s oldest microbrewery, also offering casual food and live music. Taps feature handcrafted ale and lager brewed 15 barrels at a time. The mash tun & fermenters loom over the airy bar/dining area. 6 DUNEDIN HOUSE OF BEER: Originally a tap house featuring a myriad of craft beers, Dunedin House of Beer now also brews its own suds in-house. A dark and cool clubhouse kind of vibe – bring your growler to be filled with your choice of 40 beers. 7 LAGERHAUS BREWERY & GRILL: Run by a fifth-generation Austrian brewer, this Palm Harbor brewpub has a distinctly German sensibility. The brewer likes to experiment with Lambics and high-gravity beers, and also enjoys making his own beer sausage. You’ll find bratwursts featured prominently on the robust pub menu.


GREEN BENCH BREWING CO.

8 PALM HARBOR BREWERY: Beer lovers, bring the wine lovers with you! This sweet little spot brews their own craft beer and makes their own wine. Palm Harbor Brewery is an expansion of Two Lions Winery. The tasting room is intimate, casual and fun with a quaint outdoor patio. 9 SAINT SOMEWHERE BREWING COMPANY: Specializing in bottleconditioned farmhouse ales and saisons, this boutique brewery is nestled inside an old, two-story house just east of downtown Tarpon Springs. Step through the front door into a cozy tasting room with 10 taps. 10 SEA DOG BREWING CO.: This outpost of the award-winning New England brewery features a 20-barrel brewing system and tasting room where they offer 14 drafts brewed onsite. 11 SILVERKING BREWING CO.: Once the original Tarpon Springs Fire Station in 1909, this building is now home to craft beer created by fishermen and outdoorsmen. Located only 1 mile from the world famous Sponge Docks. 12 SOGGY BOTTOM BREWING CO.: Three longtime Dunedin bartenders are the newest kids on the block and they’re applying some of their mixed-drink experience to creating beers that pack a flavor punch. Their handmade furniture featuring kegs,

SOGGY BOTTOM BREWING CO.

license plates and barrels is impressive. 13 STILT HOUSE BREWERY: Located right off the Pinellas Trail in Palm Harbor, Stilt House Brewery focuses on full-flavored delicious ales. Stilt House has 26 brews on tap, from lagers to stouts. Game nights and cornhole tournaments are all part of Stilt House’s fun and laid-back atmosphere. 14 TWO FROGS BREWING COMPANY: This local landmark in Tarpon Springs is home to a father and son nanobrewery. The family has a history of operating breweries, in fact, the head brewer’s grandfather owned a brewery in pre-Prohibition times. 15 WOODWRIGHT BREWING CO.: Part craft brewery, part wood shop - this hip hangout in downtown

Dunedin is filled with unique touches that you won’t find anywhere else. It's cool, casual and uber friendly. Select a pint or build-your-own flight, then grab a seat at the bar, upstairs in the loft, or outside in the beautiful beer garden.

REGION 2 > CENTRAL 16 ARKANE ALEWORKS: Recognized as Florida’s Best Small Brewery in 2018, Largo’s second craft brewery is bringing a great variety of beers to the masses, particularly some noteworthy sours. You’ll find creative and innovative brews with descriptions that will make you giggle, brought to you by the light hearted owners who have a strong passion for beer.

17 BIG STORM BREWING CO.: In its new landmark, 16,000-square foot facility in Clearwater, Big Storm brews its core brands in a big way. Big Storm's award winning brews are named after the common summer. 18 CLEARWATER SOCIAL BREWING COMPANY: This is the first craft brewery on Clearwater Beach. Come for the wide selection of house brewed and Florida-born beers but stay for The Original Bandingo – a fun fusion of music trivia and bingo. CBSC offers wine and a full liquor bar. 19 CROOKED THUMB BREWERY: Located in downtown Safety Harbor, it’s housed inside a restored warehouse with a large tasting room and a beer garden with picnic tables, yard games and live music. 20 GRINDHAUS BREW LAB: Grindhaus prides itself on small batch experimental brews and features a tour and tasting model, which gets you a flight of four 8-ounce tasters and a tour for 12 bucks. 21 PAIR O' DICE BREWING COMPANY: Pair O’ Dice features a 18-tap tasting room with an expansive view of a 15-barrel brewhouse. The husbandand-wife owners are young electrical engineers with Anheuser Busch experience. Their focus is brewing with Florida grown ingredients. 22 RAPP BREWING COMPANY: The small warehouse operation in Seminole breaths new life into forgotten styles like Gose, and Lichtenheiner. It has a 40-tap tasting room and features a wide array of German-centric brews. 23 SOUTHERN LIGHTS BREWING COMPANY: Clearwater’s first nanobrewery is the vision of three homebrewing friends turned reality, specializing in handcrafted small-batch ales. The classic, no-frills interior is simple and inviting, with local art pieces lining the taproom walls and surf videos on a loop behind the bar. 24 TROUBLED WATERS: A rebirth of Safety Harbor’s Copperheads Taphouse, the father-and-son brewing team have transformed the Main Street fixture into a colorful space with a Florida-style vibe. Explore one of the seven house beer creations on tap or try out any of the 30+ local, regional and national beers available too.

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BREWERIES GulpCoast.com

REGION 3 > SOUTH 25 3 DAUGHTERS BREWING: You’ll find bold, innovative and amazingly delicious beers at this locally cultivated brewery headquartered on the edge of the Warehouse Arts District and the Grand Central District in St. Pete. A spacious, modern tasting room opens up to a large warehouse area featuring a myriad of games, plus live music. 26 AVID BREWING AND GROWING SUPPLIES: A local favorite one-stop shop for growing and brewing supplies recently opened a speakeasy-style tasting room in the back of their shop. Taste a variety of styles brewed in house or other local breweries on tap. 27 CAGE BREWING: In the Grand Central District of downtown St. Pete, kick back in the outdoor space featuring giant games, TVs and a large grassy area. Live music from local and traveling bands are showcased on the weekends. 28 CYCLE BREWING: Originally started in Gulfport, this brewery has become a staple in downtown St. Pete with a cult following. It comprises a long narrow storefront, with the brewhouse in back and tasting room up front. It offers world-class beers with 12 rotating taps listed on a chalkboard. 29 DISSENT CRAFT BREWING COMPANY: Step into this off-the-beaten-path nanobrewery in St. Pete. Just like the best rebellions, the beers made perfectly blend bold insolence with an element of discretion. Enjoy outspoken ales that boast thoughtful and exciting flavor combinations in a cozy space. 30 FLYING BOAT BREWING COMPANY: Paying homage to the first commercial flight across Tampa Bay, Flying Boat brews beer in the cradle of modern aviation. This community-style, off-the-beaten-path brewery serves up a variety of light beers named after local neighborhoods. 31 GREEN BENCH BREWING CO.: This tribute to small-batch beers gets its name from St. Pete’s lesser-known label—City of Green Benches. A 1,500 square foot, 12-tap tasting room features an expansive view of the 15-barrel brewhouse and opens onto a family-friendly and dog-friendly outdoor beer garden. 32 IF I BREWED THE WORLD: Considered the mixtape of breweries, you’ll find a bit of everything with a wide selection of globally inspired craft brews on tap. With 30 (and counting) awards under their belt and authors of 70 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S

3 DAUGHTERS BREWING

PESKY PELICAN BREW PUB

a “Beer Bar” book, it’s no secret these guys know what they’re doing. 33 INOCULUM ALE WORKS: The tasting room for Florida’s first sour-only brewery is minimal with a laid-back vibe, featuring a beer menu displayed on the wall via an overhead projector. Beers come in full or half pours, or if you’re not sure go for a “splash” in place of a free sample, which go for $1. 34 MAD BEACH BREWING COMPANY: Located in the heart of the Gulf beaches, this place literally brews craft beer on an island. You’ll find it nestled amongst the shops and restaurants in John’s Pass Village on Madeira Beach. 35 MASTRY'S BREWING CO.: A beach vacation in a pint glass! The first craft brewery of St. Pete Beach is a great spot to chill after the beach — lounge indoors or outdoors, play a game with friends, or chat with the brewers. 36 OVERFLOW BREWING COMPANY: Serving up ambitious, one-of-a-kind beers from 16 colorful taps made from Lego pieces, Overflow will be pouring at least six sours regularly along with

plenty of easy-drinkers. The taproom is conveniently split between different drinking quarters – one side furnished with bar games and TVs, while the other side is a screen-free zone. 37 PESKY PELICAN BREW PUB: Tucked away on the west side of St. Pete, this low-key neighborhood nanobrewery is serving up five house brews on rotation, including the raved-about raspberry wheat and for the designated driver, a homemade rootbeer. This mom-and-pop brewpub is also putting out delicious food. 38 PINELLAS ALE WORKS: Often referred to as PAW - this dog friendly, brewery and taproom features a wide variety of styles on their 24 taps. PAW welcomes you with a courtyard area with giant games, great tunes and a cozy tasting room with TVs. Be sure to try the Milk Bone Stout. 39 RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER: From Nintendo to darts, Mario Kart tournaments to pinball machines galore, you’ll feel some major nostalgia at Florida’s first “arcade brewery."

Located in St. Pete’s Grand Central District, the whole family can enjoy this quirky and fun craft beer game room. 40 SEA DOG BREW PUB TREASURE ISLAND: This beachside brewpub is perfectly positioned on the Intracoastal, the waterfront bar and open-air dining area offer a winning combination, complete with a food menu. 41 ST. PETE BREWING CO.: Here, the cozy tasting room shares space with the brew house. Located in the heart of downtown St. Pete's Central Arts District, St. Pete Brewing brewed its first beer in March 2014.

DISTILLERIES Seek out these local, small-batch liquor brands pouring at bars and restaurants. 42 COTHERMAN DISTILLING: A standout at this Dunedin business is Cotherman’s Single Malt Whiskey. They have limited public hours, but if they’re open, samplings and tours are available. 43 KOZUBA & SONS: St. Petersburg is justifiably proud to be the home of not one but three commercial distilleries. Kozuba & Sons offers tours and tastings and is cool to study and admire even if you don’t drink its trademark, handcrafted wheat and barrel-aged vodkas. The copper “steampunk” look of its distillery will have you thinking of both sci-fi movies and classic 19th century design. Ditto the tanks and barrels. ST. PETERSBURG DISTILLERY (check out their Old St. Pete Tropical Gin); and AMERICAN FREEDOM (Horse Soldier Bourbon) are prolific in local establishments, but not open to the public.


SUNSETS AND DOLPHINS

...Always Complimentary

Holiday Inn & Suites is a fullHo service destination popular with se leisure and business travelers, leis le is and and is located directly in the heart Clearwater Beach. Our Duval of C lear le ar Conference Center on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico is popular with business groups, destination weddings, ceremonies and receptions. Water sports and activities happily arranged.

Jimmy’s Fish House restaurant is “Key “Ke Ke West” casual with live entertainment ente te 7 days a week on our ou waterside deck. A popular dining dini spot overlooking the Gulf di is conveniently attached to the th hotel. Exceptional seating, classic tropical beverages and cl sought-after cuisine.

Life is Better at the Edge! Surrounded by the e crystal blue waters of Clearwater Beach, Edge Hotel blends the natural beauty of Florida’s Gulf Coast with premium comforts, social and business event space, and warm and personalized service. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon on the worldrenown sugar sands of Clearwater Beach, which are only a short stroll away. Or stay at ‘home’ sipping tropical cocktails at the Edge Pool Bar adjacent to our famous glass panel Edge Pool, followed by a memorable, Florida-inspired dinner on the terrace at the 505 at the Edge restaurant overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Our 10th floor rooftop bar and restaurant, Jimmy’s on the Edge, provides breathtaking views of Clearwater Beach Island, the Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal waters. Enjoy your favorite beverage or savor one of our many culinary delights.

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Jimmy’s Crow’s Nest is located on the 10th floor of the Pier House 60 Hotel on Clearwater Beach. Jimmy’s features great drinks, light dining and amazing views of the Gulf of Mexico, Downtown Clearwater Beach and the Intercostal Waterway. Jimmy’s Crow’s Nest is the most sought-after destination on Clearwater Beach to experience breathtaking, picture-quality sunsets.

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VINTAGE VisitSPC.com/Vintage

WARP

ST. PET E/ CLE A RWAT ER CELEBRAT ES I T S CLAS S IC A ND KITS CHY ROOT S .

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ST. PETERSBURG Relive the past while embracing your inner hipster at the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club downtown. Built in 1923, it was later revived by preservationists and is now a hotspot for people of all ages. Sunken Gardens has been synonymous with St. Pete for nearly a century, and it’s not just because of the beautiful, old-timey neon sign out front. Sunken Gardens opened to the public in 1935 and became one of Florida’s top destinations, as roadside signs across the state have attested. Today, its exotic plants, towering palms and other trees, flamingos and butterfly aviary delight in this shady getaway. Wilson’s Sports Lounge — the robin’s egg blue dive where parts of the Channing Tatum striptease dramedy

CONEY ISLAND GRILL

Magic Mike were shot in 2011 — is a gathering for weekend karaoke and dart tournaments. Grab a burger in St. Pete and step back in time at El Cap, an old-school staple for more than 50 years, or the neon-

flavored Biff Burger with its Happy Days vibe as hot rods and other classic cars pull in on Friday nights. And at Coney Island Grill in St. Pete, opened in 1926, order two dogs — chili-topped, no beans, at the red-stooled counter.


A LITTLE HISTORY 1898 At the time of the

Spanish American War, a military fort is erected to protect the transportation of troops and supplies departing to battle zones in the Caribbean. Today, visitors to Fort De Soto Park can still see its last 12-inch mortars.

1914 On New Year's Day, Tony Jannus piloted the first commercial flight across Tampa Bay. The single-engine plane took off from the waters of St. Pete landing 21 miles away off the shores of Tampa.

1924

The 2.5-mile long Gandy Bridge over Tampa Bay opens, connecting St. Petersburg to Tampa. It cuts the trip between St. Petersburg and Tampa from 43 miles to 19 miles.

1947

The Philadelphia Phillies hold spring training in Clearwater for the first time, at the old Athletic Field ballpark. ST. PETERSBURG SHUFFLEBOARD CLUB

The Jazz Age Coliseum Ballroom in St. Pete opened in 1924 and is an architectural marvel, which explains its enduring appeal to brides and daddy-daughter dances. The oldest greyhound-racing track in America is at St. Pete’s Derby Lane, which opened in 1925. In 2001, George Clooney and Brad Pitt hit the track to film scenes for Ocean’s Eleven.

The Gulfport Casino Ballroom, opened in 1934, is an art deco gem with regular swing dances. But no, despite the name, there is no actual gambling allowed.

You know you’ve arrived in Treasure Island when the blazing neon sign at the Thunderbird Beach Resort, a 1957 beachfront landmark, greets you. The John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk in Madeira Beach is a quaint fishing village of shops and restaurants. Further south, Historic Corey Avenue, dedicated in 1937, runs through the heart of St. Pete Beach.

As St. Pete/Clearwater’s oldest park, Philippe Park has stunning views of Old Tampa Bay. Named for Count Odet Philippe, it features majestic shade trees and a Native American mound listed in the National Register of Historic Landmarks.

1956

GULFPORT

ON THE BEACHES

1948

The Gulf Beaches Historical Museum, in the historic district of Pass-a-Grille at the tip of St. Pete Beach, features historic postcards, photos, newspaper clippings and more.

CLEARWATER & TARPON SPRINGS Greek sponge divers settled in coastal Tarpon Springs in the early 1900s, bringing traditional gyro sandwiches

and sweet, flaky baklava. The shops and restaurants of Dodecanese Boulevard are a slice of Greece in the middle of Florida. And the Sponge-ORama Vintage Museum is a great spot from which to take home a souvenir. In Clearwater, the Capitol Theatre has anchored the downtown area since 1921; a city partnership restored it back to life and it’s now an intimate destination for concerts.

Elvis Presley performs three shows at the Florida Theatre in St. Petersburg. A newspaper ad noted tickets were $1.50 to see “The Nation’s Only Atomic Powered Singer.”

1995

Family-owned Dunedin Brewery opened its doors and is Florida’s oldest microbrewery. Today, it offers more than 10 craft beers, all brewed onsite.

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Do Tampa Bay

like a local.

Visit tampabay.com to find all the fun things to do in Tampa Bay.


FLORIDA’S MOST

SURPRISES A 30-minute drive from Gulf beaches, you’ll uncover unforgettable adventures in Tampa Bay.

VisitTampaBay.com


NIGHTLIFE & BARS VisitSPC.com/Bars


FROM THE VIBRANT NIGHTLIFE DISTRICTS IN DOWNTOWN ST. PETE TO GAME BARS, POOCH PUBS AND BEACH BARS, YOU'LL FIND SOMETHING TO FIT ANY MOOD.

ALL THE

Z BUUZZ V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 77


NIGHTLIFE & BARS VisitSPC.com/Bars

From craft brews and cocktails to culinary delights, shopping and nightlife, find a fresh and funky Florida vibe along Beach Drive and Central Avenue in downtown St. Pete. To roll like a local, visit ExperienceCentralAve.com

D O W N TO W N ST. P E T E BEACH DRIVE C E N T R A L

See and be seen along St. Petersburg’s waterfront, one of the more glamorous destinations for a night out. Fans of bubbly will like Flute & Dram, an upscale bar with plush velvet seating, specializing in champagne, caviar and whiskey. Date nights are hot at Tryst Gastro Lounge, the perfect place to perch for bottle service with a side of people-watching. Wine lovers will feel at home at Annata, an intimate space with exposed brick and comfy high-top seating offering harder to find wines, from Arneis to Grenache Blanc. Even if you’re not staying at the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, well-heeled locals know a trip to the hotel’s porch bar is a must, especially on a breezy night. Cassis American Brasserie combines the elegance of France with the casual accessibility of St. Pete. Try a licorice cocktail with almond syrup, or one made to taste, like peanut butter and jelly. Don’t leave without a nip of vanilla-infused whiskey.

DETROIT BLOCK Is it Friday? First Friday, to be specific, the monthly party in the old-school area of downtown St. Petersburg. You might miss it if you don’t pay attention but find the chandelier in the birdcage on the sidewalk, and you’ve found Mandarin Hide. The bartenders here, decked out in suspenders and newsboy caps, take their drinks seriously, smoking, muddling, twisting, slicing and icing. If it’s a special occasion, you can order a bottle of bubbly with a flaming sparkler. Things take a decidedly more casual tone at Mastry’s, a dive bar and St. Pete staple for more than 80 years, and Caddy’s on Central, a sports bar with hopping live music.

600 BLOCK You know those nights when you’re never really happy with your outfit? There’s a solution in Bartique, which is just as it sounds. Half-bar, half-boutique, it affords you the perfect opportunity to change your look or pick up a gift for someone while grabbing a craft beer or a glass of wine. Now that you’re properly outfitted, explore the rest of the 600 Block, a revitalized slice of St. Pete that’s now a trendy haven for artists and makers. Find jazz and open mic stand-up comedy in the basement of the Iberian Rooster restaurant, a club known as SubCentral. Shoot a game of pool and nosh on a taco at The Lure, and drink from a red Solo cup while you catch a local punk act at the Emerald, the dive to end all dives.

EDGE DISTRICT

A V E

78 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S

Blue Goose, a bar in the Edge District, has the vibe of your favorite old-school joint, if that joint were clean and smoke-free. It’s part of the quirky fabric of the Edge District, a rapidly growing area that includes Room 901, a cozy spot for cocktails where paperback books create an edgy statement wall. The hipsters are at the Bends, a shotgun-style bar with PBR and liquor deals, plus frequent theme nights from Drake to Stranger Things. Find local, national and rare craft beers at the Independent, and don’t forget about Ferg’s, a sports lover's paradise with its own dog bar, duckpin bowling alley and ax-throwing range.

GRAND CENTRAL DISTRICT This district brims with artistic flair and the frequent welcome of the LGBT rainbow flag. One of the more stylish stops is Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe, a meeting place and market with a spacious, welcoming vibe, plus 300 beers and 75 wines. New to the district is Trophy Fish, a tropical walk-up with drinks including a Fin & Tonic, the Salty Dawg with grapefruit vodka and pamplemousse, and a pina colada served inside an actual pineapple hull. The mason jar crowd is down the way sipping bourbon at Urban Comfort, and wine aficionados are at Lolita’s Wine Market, a wine shop married with a coffee shop. The expertise here is cheese, charcuterie and affordable wine.


LOLITAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S WINE MARKET

THE LURE

MANDARIN HIDE

FERG'S

TROPHY FISH

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BEACHES

NIGHTLIFE & BARS VisitSPC.com/Bars

St. Pete/Clearwater’s beaches are full of options to wet your whistle. Take a selfie in front of the dollar bill-covered walls of Mahuffer’s in Indian Shores. The Undertow Beach Bar in St. Pete Beach is prime for tequila and sunsets, while Jamminz in Clearwater Beach is the perfect place to duck in and cool off while strolling down the main strip of Mandalay Avenue (try the Rum Runner). Located on Sunset Beach at the southern tip of Treasure Island, Caddy’s on the Beach is a waterfront bar featuring daily live music, famous BBQ and stunning sunsets. For a more elegant night in Clearwater Beach, hit up the lovely bars at the Opal Sands Resort or the Sandpearl Resort. But the best-kept beach bar secret may be this: The Caladesi Island snack bar, reachable only by the ferry from Honeymoon Island, has a variety of domestic bottle beers, as well as plus-sized Tucher hefeweizens for just a dollar more.

GULFPORT

THE BEATEN PATH

CADDY'S ON THE BEACH

One of the more offbeat towns in the area, Gulfport has a laid-back hippie vibe and lots of fun to be found. Try your hand at karaoke or catch a live band at the indoor/outdoor O’Maddy’s Bar and Grille, or head to the 3,500-square-foot patio at Salty’s, a smoke-free place to catch a game. Gulfport is also home to the Blueberry Patch, Florida’s oldest artist retreat featuring musicians, artists, dancers and bohemian spirits.

DUNEDIN

SALTY’S

With a plethora of microbreweries, it’s not hard to find some suds. But this city has even more to offer. Celebrate Dunedin’s Celtic heritage at Flanagan’s Irish Pub, where it’s not unusual to hear bagpipes or Irish drinking songs. Play a round of Skee-Ball at Eddie’s Bar & Grill. Two insider tips: at Rosie’s Tavern, be on the lookout for a tiny, hidden ceramic pig with black and white cow spots, affectionately known as Cowpig, to win a free beer and have your photo posted in the Facebook hall of fame. And at Marker 8 On the Water, a tiki bar attached to the Beso Del Sol Resort, arrive by sunset, when the staff passes out a free sunset shot.

ELSEWHERE MAHUFFER’S

80 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S

BAR FLY

You’ll feel like you’re in the Florida Keys at the Getaway, a gem on Gandy Beach in the northern part of


St. Petersburg, surrounded by sand and a massive wraparound bar. You can even arrive by boat. Blink and you might miss Ozona, but that would be a shame if you missed Molly Goodheads. The tiny town between Dunedin and Palm Harbor has only a couple of restaurants and shops, Molly being queen since 1985. Try the Tarpon Tavern, a British-style pub in Tarpon Springs, for cold beers alongside mouth-watering burgers. May we recommend this as a stop on your Pinellas Trail bike ride? In quaint downtown Palm Harbor, snack on heaps of onion straws alongside good mules, cocktails, margaritas and conversation at Peggy O’s Irish Pub. There’s also live music and never a cover charge. Bar Fly, Safety Harbor’s neighborhood hangout covered in flying fish décor, recently expanded into a plus-sized corner outfit. The staff is attentive and quick with a wine refill.

ROOFTOP BARS Catch a Gulf sunset on the rooftop of the Hurricane in historic Pass-a-Grille Beach. The Canopy at the Birchwood on St. Pete’s Beach Drive has stunning views of Tampa Bay, Straub Park and the downtown skyline. Or perch at Jimmy’s Crow’s Nest atop the Pier House 60 hotel in Clearwater Beach. And it’s all about a glam girls’ night out at the rooftop bar of the Hotel Zamora in St. Pete Beach with marvelous waterfront views. Just down the road also on St. Pete Beach, find Level 11 Rooftop Lounge, part of the Grand Plaza Hotel & Beach Resort, take in incredible views of the Gulf of Mexico while dining at their artisan bistro bar.

GAME BARS Conversation is overrated. Get to a gaming console at Right Around the Corner, St. Petersburg’s hotbed of arcade games, like Donkey Kong, Defender and Ms. Pac-Man. Vector Bar and Arcade in Clearwater has 15 arcade games and 10 vintage pinball machines. Head over to Park & Rec, an adult playground with arcade games, Skee-Ball, pinball, air hockey, cornhole, giant trash can beer pong and more.

LEVEL 11 ROOFTOP LOUNGE

DESSERT BARS If all the revelry gives you a sweet tooth indulge at Coolside Gelato Bar in Palm Harbor, home of the “beerlato,” a delicious mix of gelato and craft brew, either in a single serving or a “landing,” akin to a flight. Just steps away, enjoy an ice-cold wine slushie from Two Lions Winery. Over in St. Pete, the new Beans & Barlour mixes coffee with boozy ice cream for a grown-up treat.

GETAWAY

VECTOR BAR AND ARCADE

V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 81


MUSIC VisitSPC.com/Music

T RN TUNE OUT THE NOISE OF THE WORLD AND TURN UP THE VOLUME AT SOME OF THE BEST LIVE MUSIC DESTINATIONS.

IT

JANNUS LIVE

BEST OF THE ’BURG The area’s cultural epicenter is downtown St. Petersburg, stocked with options for art, theater and live music. Start at the ornate and historic Mahaffey Theater, home base of the Florida Orchestra and many top pop, rock and jazz tours. The Mahaffey also occasionally hosts rock, jazz, classical and comedy shows at the Palladium, part of St. Petersburg College. Be sure to pop into the Palladium’s intimate basement Side Door Cabaret, where you’ll often find nationally renowned local blues and jazz acts Damon Fowler, Selwyn Birchwood and Nate Najar plying their craft. Rock, pop and hip-hop fans have for decades hit up Jannus Live, a unique club in a historic block’s open-air 82 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S

CONCERT IN VINOY PARK

courtyard. Countless artists have played here before breaking big, from Pearl Jam to Radiohead to Katy Perry. Up Central Avenue sits the more intimate State Theatre, a before-theywere-huge hotspot. St. Petersburg’s club scene is always busy, too. Around Central Avenue’s 200 block, you’ll find Ruby’s Elixir, a popular club for live soul, jazz and blues music; cocktail palace Mandarin Hide, which offers live jazz on Wednesdays; and Ringside Cafe, a brick-walled destination for many top blues and local rock acts. For something new almost every night, check out The Ale and the Witch, a craft beer bar that often has live music in its outdoor courtyard, including a popular open mic. Punk fans flock to shows at the well-curated record store Planet Retro; character-filled dives Fubar and the Emerald; and arty


CLEARWATER JAZZ HOLIDAY

hipster cocktail haven The Bends. And if you’re dining at Ceviche, be sure to grab sangria or a mojito at the underground bar Ché Lounge, which hosts regular Latin jazz and flamenco music, complete with wildly colorful dancers.

CLEARWATER & BEYOND The undisputed home for live music in Clearwater is Ruth Eckerd Hall, a nationally renowned concert hall hosting classical music, Broadway shows and live performances by all-time legends, from Bob Dylan to the Beach Boys to Herbie Hancock. Ruth Eckerd Hall also programs downtown Clearwater’s refurbished Capitol Theatre, which brings many similar artists to a more intimate space; and the city’s free monthly Blast Friday concerts, which liven up downtown’s Cleveland Street district each spring.

Dunedin Brewery bills itself as Florida’s oldest microbrewery, and its signature apricot peach wheat is not to be missed. But it’s also a long-running venue hosting punk, funk and jam bands, and it’s got a popular comedy open mic on Mondays. And Kelly’s Chic-a-Boom Room and its adjacent Blur nightclub both feature free music by an array of bands and performers, all accompanied by some of the area’s best martinis and cocktails.

MAKE SOME WAVES With so much beautiful shoreline in Clearwater and St. Petersburg, it’s no wonder artists love performing by the water. Shephard’s Beach Resort in Clearwater Beach is one of the most potent party destinations every weekend, but especially on holidays and throughout the summer, when it brings in top-

notch DJs from around the world. The Ka’Tiki Beach Bar in sleepy Sunset Beach serves up live local music every day and night, including one of the area’s best weekly blues jams on Monday. St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park is one of America’s longest urban waterfront greenspaces, and it hosts tens of thousands of fans at concerts throughout the year. January brings the Sunshine Music Festival, and March’s Reggae Rise Up Festival has grown into one of the largest reggae and reggae-rock fests in the nation. April’s Tampa Bay Blues Festival and November’s Ribfest are among the area’s longest-running events, attracting a slew of major acts. In Clearwater, the sun setting over the water makes a beautiful backdrop for a

CHÉ LOUNGE

V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 83


MUSIC VisitSPC.com/Music diverse array of festivals, from the hiphop-based Wild Splash in the spring to the Latin-oriented Hispanic Heritage Concert in the fall. Two of the biggest are the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, a signature regional event that attracts artists like the Avett Brothers, Michael McDonald and Sheryl Crow; and the Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival, which pairs great food and music with an irresistible free general admission price tag. Safety Harbor’s Waterfront Park is home to the annual Safety Harbor SongFest, a locals' favorite that plunks songwriters from around the nation into the intimate heart of this artsy community.

THE STUDIO@620

HIDDEN GEMS Sometimes the best music is right off the beaten path. Even in bustling downtown St. Petersburg, there are below-the-radar hotspots worth checking out. In St. Petersburg, jazz aficionados should visit the Hangar for dinner and the Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association’s live two-hour jazz jam.

Closer to the Grand Central District, the Hideaway Café brings songwriters both local and national into a living room-like setting, while the Craftsman House Gallery brings them into a space surrounded by art. And for a taste of something more experimental, SubCentral at the Iberian Rooster has turned the Portuguese fusion restau-

rant’s basement into a home for all types of music, from swing to hip-hop to opera, with comedy, burlesque, drag and other shows also on the calendar. Largo’s Central Park Performing Arts Center and the Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center bring an array of music and theater options to town, from nationally known tribute acts to classic

Your view of

Paradise

Awaits...

17120 Gulf Boulevard • North Redington Beach, FL 33708 • 1-727-391-4000 • www.DoubleTreeBeachResort.com doubletreebeachresortbyhilton

84 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S

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pop, rock and country headliners. In Dunedin, Woodwright Brewing Company has carved out a unique niche as Tampa Bay’s top home for bluegrass jams, with a little Americana, zydeco and folk sprinkled in for good measure. And in Safety Harbor, the Whistle Stop Grill and Bar is not only one of the area’s best open-mic bars, but the monthly meet-up spot for the Tampa Bay Ukulele Society. And speaking of Safety Harbor, no venue is more colorful than the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center. Created by local artists, it’s a work of art in and of itself, a mirrored, mosaic-tiled and hand-painted wonder that hosts bands, songwriters and even art and music workshops.


Rediscover the

Legend

Perfectly positioned overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, The Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa has it all. Our spectacular multi-million dollar renovation in 2018, with the addition of a new spa and gym, provides guests an unparalleled stay. This iconic hotel features food and drink service to the water’s edge, Clearwater Beach’s only tiki bar on the sand, private beach cabanas and two new pools. There’s so much new to discover and rediscover at Clearwater Beach’s true legend.

Call 800.445.8667 to Book Your Legendar y Vacation

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| 400 Mandalay Avenue, Clear water Beach, FL 33767

discover the dalí museum Visit an unparalleled collection of works by renowned artist Salvador Dalí, from iconic melting clocks to imaginative visual illusions and avant-garde symbols. Explore the awe-inspiring building and distinctive gardens on the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront. Open 7 days a week. Tickets include free audio guides, public docent tours, children’s activities & more.

“stunning”

– New York Times

TheDali.org 727.823.3767 One Dalí Blvd, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 85


ROMANCE VisitSPC.com/Romance

FIRST COMES

THEN COMES

In St. Pete/Clearwater, love comes to life. Embrace your zanier side, sizzle under the sun or settle in for a night of passion.

GLASSBLOWING

THE DON CESAR HOTEL

86 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S

DATE NIGHT

TYING THE KNOT

GLASSBLOWING FOR TWO: This is a hot date. Literally. The Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg offers glassblowing date nights with instructional demonstrations and hands-on time. You and your love will make a solid, sculpted paperweight or a glass ornament, not to mention memories. ESCAPE ROOM: Every good couple needs to know how to work together. Find out at Escape St. Pete, where, using a series of clues, you can try to escape scenarios including "the science laboratory" and “the writer’s cabin” in 60 minutes or less. Come with a group or go it alone with just you two. Likewise, at Beach Escape Game in St. Pete Beach, bust out of “the honky tonk,” “lost treasure” and more. INDOOR SURFING: You don’t have to be an experienced surfer to catch a wave in Clearwater Beach. At Surf Style surf shop, you and boo can try a 30-minute session in the FlowRider artificial wave machine that simulates the patterns of real surf. Boards and instructors are provided. A ROMANTIC CRUISE: Book a ride out of Clearwater Beach on a StarLite Cruise dining yacht and enjoy dinner service and live entertainment.

THE DON CESAR HOTEL: Known as the Pink Palace, it doesn’t get more opulent than a wedding ceremony at the Don CeSar in St. Pete Beach. This legendary 1928 hotel can host as many as 250 guests in a variety of settings. You can get married right on the beach, then retreat to an elegant ballroom to party the night away in a jazz-age vibe. THE VINOY RENAISSANCE ST. PETERSBURG RESORT AND GOLF CLUB: The 1920s was a good decade for magnificent Florida hotels. This St. Petersburg landmark was established in 1925, but today boasts a modern flavor straight out of a design magazine. A walk through the lobby or a cocktail on the front porch will leave your guests impressed. KAPOK SPECIAL EVENTS CENTER & GARDENS: You have to see this place to believe it. Tucked away on McMullen-Booth Road in Clearwater, the Kapok Special Events Center is a maze of landscaping, garden sculptures, a hidden lagoon, rooms decked out in different opulent themes and a grand ballroom with a chandelier that rivals the one in Beauty and the Beast.


Beach

AwardWinning Boutique

Resorts

Exclusive, affordable, family owned and Trip Advisor Top Rated resorts: Why would you stay anywhere else? Experience personalized service with attention to detail. Choose from four boutique resorts located on Florida’s award-winning beaches: St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island. Discover completely renovated rooms and suites with full kitchens catering to couples, business travelers and families.

From deluxe hotel rooms to large family suites, Plaza Beach Resorts have what you are looking for.

PAGE TERRACE BEACHFRONT HOTEL

PLAZA BEACH HOTEL BEACHFRONT RESORT

4506 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach On the Gulf of Mexico, powder white sand, warm Gulf water, large pool, rooms with kitchens, balconies.

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10500 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island On the Gulf of Mexico, centrally located, large pool, spacious patio, rooms with kitchens.

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BAYVIEW PLAZA WATERFRONT RESORT

BAY PALMS WATERFRONT RESORT

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4321 Gulf Blvd. , St. Pete Beach On Boca Ciega Bay, fishing pier only 200 ft. from the beach, boats, watch dolphins and manatees.

4237 Gulf Blvd. , St. Pete Beach On Boca Ciega Bay, heated pool, great fishing, 1 or 2 bedroom apts., family reunions, pet friendly available.

Here is why you should stay with us:

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• Exclusive boutique resorts • Location, location, location • Amazing amenities • Exceptional services • Commitment to your experience • Affordable Prices • Not your typical cookie-cutter resort

All of our properties are family owned and operated. The owners are on property daily to ensure you have a perfect vacation.


S u i t e V i e w s . Tr e a s u r e d T i m e .

YO U R N E W B E AC H F R O N T G E TAWAY

10800 GULF BLVD. TREASURE ISLAND, FLORIDA

855.660.6566 | TreasureIslandBeachResort.com

88 A M E R I C Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; S B E S T B E A C H E S


Discover all that’s under our roof. It’s good not to be home.

Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa is your residential-like escape just steps away from the gulf coast and famous Pier 60. Sprawl out in one of our 287 oversized rooms, stock your fridge with favorites and dine in on your spacious balcony. After a sun-drenched day, watch a breathtaking sunset from our 8th floor pool deck, unwind at Sandava Spa or catch a fresh bite at the award-winning SHOR American Seafood Grill. For more information, visit hyattregencyclearwater.com and enter offer code GB2019 to unlock special offers. HYATT REGENCY CLEARWATER BEACH RESORT AND SPA 301 South Gulfview Boulevard Clearwater Beach, Florida, USA, 33767 The trademarks Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency® and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation. © 2018 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved.

C L E A R W A T E R

B E A C H ,

F L O R I D A

In Celebration of Our 93rd Year

Growing up there was only one thing better than spending the day at the beach...going to the Palm Pavilion. Since its earliest day, The Palm has been a special place where family and friends come and create memories to last a lifetime. Join us for a meal, an appetizer, dessert, drinks and a sunset. There’s live music every day, as long as we can find the extension cord. Happy hour: Monday - Friday 4-7 p.m. Palm Pavilion Beachside Grill & Bar

10 Bay Esplanade • North Clearwater Beach • 727-446-2642 • www.palmpavilion.com

V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 89


SPORTS VisitSPC.com/Sports

90 A M E R I C Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; S B E S T B E A C H E S


&GAMES Whether you'd like to watch it or do it… We’ve got the hometeam advantage with professional sports teams — football, baseball, hockey and soccer — but we’re also happy to host top sporting events, from Super Bowls and NCAA Final Four games to championship golf.

WELCOME TO THE BIG LEAGUES If you’re a baseball fan, you know that Ted Williams is often considered the greatest hitter who ever lived. What does the Boston Red Sox slugger have to do with St. Petersburg? Tropicana Field (“The Trop”), home of MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays, houses the Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame, a memorabilia-filled trip through baseball history named for the legendary slugger, who lived out his retirement in Florida. Before the Rays start play every April, Grapefruit League games from late February through March are played around these parts — and all around Florida. It’s our chance to get up-close and personal with baseball’s superstars and up-and-comers. The Philadelphia Phillies (Clearwater) and Toronto Blue


SPORTS VisitSPC.com/Sports

ST. ANTHONY’S TRIATHLON

Jays (Dunedin) play within minutes of the beaches, as do their minor-league affiliate teams, the Clearwater Threshers and Dunedin Blue Jays. Not far away you’ll find spring training and minor-league sites in Tampa (New York Yankees), Lakeland (Detroit Tigers), Sarasota (Baltimore Orioles), Bradenton (Pittsburgh Pirates) and Lake Buena Vista (Atlanta Braves). The USL Rowdies are St. Petersburg’s other pro team, playing soccer at newly expanded and renovated Al Lang Stadium, a beautiful location overlooking the city’s downtown waterfront. The team’s passionate fans, Ralph’s Mob, chant, sing, dance and play drums during contests, turning home matches into must-attend events for fans of all ages. In Tampa, you’ll find Amalie Arena, home to the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, which had the league’s best record in the 2017-18 and won the Atlantic Division. For football, the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers play in Raymond James Stadium.

FOOTGOLF

FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG

PHILLIES SPRING TRAINING

THE BIG STAGE One spring weekend every year, downtown St. Petersburg is faster and louder than any other city in the United States. That’s when IndyCar racing season kicks off at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, a screaming sprint along the city’s usually tranquil waterfront. The 2017 and 2018 winner was driver Sebastien Bourdais, who lives in St. Petersburg in the offseason. When Tiger Woods joined the field at the 2018 edition of the PGA’s Valspar Championship at picturesque Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor, many believe the long-running tournament had truly arrived. Paul Casey was the 2018 winner as the event drew its biggest 92 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S

features a sprint triathlon (750-meter swim, 20K bike ride, 5K run) and Meek & Mighty, open to kids as young as 7. Each September, thousands of spectators invade Clearwater Beach to watch the annual Super Boat races. Huge crowds are witness to these speed boats competing against one another along the 2.5-mile race course.

SPORTS FOR THE REST OF US

crowd yet: 150,000 people. Across Tampa Bay, Raymond James Stadium hosts lots of college football, including home games of the University of South Florida Bulls and the Outback Bowl, which pits teams from the Southeastern Conference and Big Ten against one another on New Year’s

Day. It is also home to U.S. men’s and women’s soccer matches. World-class athletes descend on St. Petersburg each spring for the St. Anthony’s Triathlon, one of the biggest events in the North American triathlon season. The course, winding in and around downtown St. Petersburg, also

FootGolf, a combination of soccer and golf, can be found at the Largo Golf Course and Dunedin Stirling Links. Who doesn’t love the ultimate family beach activity, miniature golf. Check out Captain Bligh’s Landing in Clearwater Beach; Polynesian Putter in St. Pete Beach, Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf courses in Indian Shores and Madeira Beach; Polynesian Putter in St. Pete Beach; and, a few miles off the beach, Congo River Golf and Celebration Station courses in


VALSPAR CHAMPIONSHIP

TOP 10 GOLF COURSES

Find more courses at VisitSPC.com/Golf

Bardmoor Golf & Tennis Club, Seminole This pristine but challenging spot hosted the JCPenney Classic, a mixed team PGA and LPGA event that brought in Arnold Palmer, Fred Couples and Nancy Lopez. Chi Chi Rodriguez Golf Club, Clearwater This par-69 course supports and is staffed by the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation and Academy, as does its nearly 50-tee driving range. Cove Cay Golf Club, Clearwater Plenty of water and views of Tampa Bay give this creative course a truly Florida feel.

CLEARWATER SUPER BOAT INTERNATIONAL

Clearwater. Speaking of golf, disc golf can be played in wooded courses such as the Tocobaga Disc Golf Course in St. Petersburg’s Maximo Park, Sheffield Park in Oldsmar, Taylor Park Disc Course in Largo and North East Coachman Park in Clearwater. For runners, rollerbladers and bicyclists, the Pinellas Trail, a local jewel, stretches 54 miles from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs and draws more than 1 million folks to the trail and its offshoots annually. Rainy day? Never fear: Indoor rock climbing is available at Vertical Ventures just off the trail in St. Petersburg. The 20,000-square-foot complex features 40-foot-high walls and huge yoga and fitness facilities. Another way to see the area? Ziplining! It gives adventurers a chance to coast through cypress trees and scrubland. Empower Adventures Tampa Bay in Oldsmar offers a course of five ziplines

over 20 acres, taking riders as high as 65 feet off the ground. At Showtime Speedway in Clearwater, fans gather for weekly stock, truck and mini car racing on what’s billed as “the fastest quarter-mile in the South.” For racing with a little more personality, visit Derby Lane in St. Petersburg, among the oldest greyhound tracks in the country. It also has a poker room. Shuffleboard might well be the most popular participation sport in downtown St. Petersburg. The old-timey St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club is home to St. Pete Shuffle, a Friday-night gathering featuring families, tastemakers and shuffleboard veterans gathering for drinks, music and a chance to learn a game that’s synonymous with Old Florida. Next door is the St. Petersburg Lawn Bowling Club, a historic facility boasting members from around the world. It’s open to members of all skill levels from November to April.

Dunedin Golf Club, Dunedin Designed by legendary course architect Donald Ross, it hosted the PGA’s Senior Tour Championship from 1945 to 1962 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club, Palm Harbor: Home to the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship. Innisbrook is one of Golf Digest’s “Top Golf Courses in Florida for 2017-18.” Lansbrook Golf Club, Palm Harbor Lots of sand, water and the occasional alligator make for another thoroughly Florida golfing experience. Mangrove Bay Golf Course, St. Petersburg One of Florida’s top municipal courses, Mangrove Bay rewards those who want to work on their short game. The adjacent 9-hole, par-3 Cypress Links is also popular. Seminole Lake Country Club, Seminole This neighborhood course features five tee boxes for golfers of all skill levels. Treasure Bay Golf & Tennis Club, Treasure Island This waterfront par-3 course, overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, is good for a quick round. Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club A lush branch of the historic downtown St. Petersburg resort, it’s a haven for native birds and wildlife. V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 93


PETS VisitSPC.com/Pets

POOCH PARADISE

With award-winning dog beaches and pet-friendly hotels, St. Pete/Clearwater is a welcoming getaway destination for you and your furry friend.

A BEACH OF THEIR OWN Travel+Leisure in 2017 named Fort De Soto as one of the “Best Dog-Friendly Beaches in the U.S” because dogs actually have a special beach where they can frolic in the sand and swim in the Gulf of Mexico. There are also two fenced-in areas for dogs to shower and quench their thirst.

PUTTING ON THE DOG Many hotels and resorts invite you to bring your dog, provided it’s well-mannered and within its pet policy weight restrictions. There are also luxurious treatments for pups at some resorts, including pet room service and a play area at the TradeWinds Island Resorts in St. Pete Beach. Just south of the Tradewinds, the Don CeSar resort offers in-room massages for dogs.

DOGGIE DINE & DRINK These days, you don’t have to leave Mr. Bojangles at home while you have a good time. More restaurants, bars and 94 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S

DOG BAR


SWEET SAGE CAFÉ   & BOUTIQUE

cafes than ever in St. Pete/Clearwater invite you to bring your dog. Water bowls are the norm, and some offer treats and even special menus. At Skip’s Bar and Grill in Dunedin, your dog can people-watch from the outdoor patio and hang next to the giant mural of all the town’s dogs. Sweet Sage Café & Boutique in North Redington Beach offers pups their own menu; try the Bowser (biscuit and gravy). Chill outside with your dog and enjoy pub food at Three Birds Tavern in St. Pete. And it’s no surprise dogs are welcome at the Brown Boxer Pub & Grille locations in Clearwater Beach and Madeira Beach. At Dog Bar in St. Pete, a sunny lounge/dog park combo billed as a cross between a doggie daycare and dog park, you get the pint, Doggo gets the bowl. (Bring a copy of your dog’s vaccination records; there’s also a short- or long-term membership fee.) Dogs will love the frozen treats at Three Dog Bakery in St. Petersburg’s 600 block of Central Avenue. They can also nose through the chewy treats along the wall and pick their own. Don’t expect human treats here! Nearby, Pinellas Ale Works (PAW, get it?) welcomes your floofer, as does Nikko’s Dog Barrrrr in St. Pete Beach.

BARKS IN THE PARKS

FORT DE SOTO DOG BEACH

Gulfport and Safety Harbor have dog parks, as does Largo, Clearwater and Dunedin, Tarpon Springs, Sand Key and other communities. Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin has a small beach for leashed dogs.

SAFE AND SOUND • The dog paddle doesn’t come naturally to all pups. A dog life vest will keep your pup safe and give you peace of mind, whether they’re frolicking in the water or standing watch at the bow of your boat. • Sunscreen is good for dogs, too, especially hairless and short-coated breeds and those with light-colored noses. Find special sunscreens labeled specifically for dogs at pet stores. • Keep your dog hydrated. Portable water bottles are widely available online. • Consider buying dog booties to keep your pup’s paws cool on sizzling summer pavement.

You’ll have your pick among many clean, fenced city dog parks and those tucked away in people parks in the St. Pete/Clearwater area for your dog to run and play to his heart’s content. Among them are location-friendly respites like North Shore Dog Park in downtown St. Petersburg — with a phone-charging station! — and Kenwood Dog Park near the Grand Central District in St. Pete. The towns of V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 95


A Magnificent Vacation Experience on Award-Winning Beaches Awaits You Our award-winning beaches and host communities offer you a choice of more than 20 professional Vacation Rental management companies. We represent a selection of more than 2,800 vacation condos, homes and condo-hotel suites. Book with confidence when using one of our certified members. Membership in the Alliance guarantees a commitment to quality accommodations, professional standards and ethics. Our Vacation Rental Alliance members are Pinellas County’s finest professional rental management companies. Our members are committed to providing our mutual guests with a consistent, quality vacation experience, along with quality accommodations. Each company has a variety of vacation rentals and resort properties, each having its own set of amenities and each with its own design and flavor. Vacation rental accommodations range from charming studio suites to spacious, luxurious three- and four-bedroom condos with modern kitchens and amenities. Vacation rentals are often found for less than the cost of a standard chain hotel room. Stays are available nightly, weekly, monthly or… by the season. Stay in style, by allowing one of our professional rental management companies to assist you in finding a dream vacation rental accommodation that is perfect for your needs.

3PALMS BEACHFRONT VACATION RENTALS 309A Gulf Blvd. Indian Rocks Beach FL 33785 (727) 596-0109 www.3palmspmg.com

ida

Flor

JCResorts Beachfront Vacation Rentals JC RESORTS BEACHFRONT VACATION RENTALS 17200 Gulf Blvd., N. Redington Beach, FL 33708 800-535-7776 •800-421-6663 www.jcresorts.us

JC RESORTS BEACHFRONT VACATION RENTALS 17200 Gulf Blvd., N. Redington Beach, FL 33708 800-535-7776 •800-421-6663 www.jcresorts.us

JC RESORTS BEACHFRONT VACATION RENTALS 17200 Gulf Blvd., N. Redington Beach, FL 33708 800-535-7776 •800-421-6663 www.jcresorts.us


LIBERTE MANAGEMENT 118 107th Ave., Treasure Island, FL 33706 800-542-3648 • 727-360-2006 www.libertemanagement.com

LIBERTE MANAGEMENT LUXURY RENTALS 118 107th Ave., Treasure Island, FL 33706 800-542-3648 • 727-360-2006 www.libertemanagement.com

PLAZA BEACH BEACHFRONT RESORT 4506 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, FL 33706 (727) 367-2791 www.plazabeachresorts.com

FLORIDA LIFESTYLE VACATION RENTALS 19713 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores, FL 33785 800-487-8953 • 727-593-2000 www.ourcondo.com

CAMELOT BEACH SUITES An award-winning, modern South Beach boutique hotel 100 yards from the best beach in Clearwater. Spacious suites with well-equipped kitchens, comfortable designer furniture and pet friendly. Clearwater Beach • 727-467-4310 • www.camelotbeachsuites.com

FLORIDA’S BEST ACCOMMODATIONS

VACATION RENTALS 18610 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores, FL 33785 1-877-444-4833 • 727-517-9404 www.FloridaBest.com

BAREFOOT BEACH RESORT 19417 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores, FL 33785 800-996-5303 • 727-593-5303 www.barefootbeachresort.com

RESORT RENTALS 8010 Blind Pass Rd., St. Pete Beach, FL 33706 800-293-3979 • 727-363-3336 www.resortrentals.us


BUSINESS & EDUCATION HSN

RAYMOND JAMES FINANCIAL

STETSON UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW

FROM HSN TO WIKIPEDIA, POLITIFACT AND MORE, ST. PETE/CLEARWATER IS ...

A PERFECT

CLIMATE

M R . SA LVA D OR D 3 6 5 SU A LÍ N SH IN E ST R ST. P E EET TE /C LE ARWA TE R , FL

ECKERD COLLEGE

FOR BUSINESS, CREATIVITY & EDUCATION PIONEER TERRITORY Purchased in 2017 by QVC, pioneering teleshopping retailer HSN began in St. Petersburg and maintains its headquarters there, where, in 2018, a creative promotion campaign saw hosts outside the studios, such as from the sands of Clearwater Beach. And in 1962, a St. Pete broker named Bob James started a company that has grown into investment powerhouse Raymond James Financial, with more than 7,600 financial advisors serving millions of clients worldwide.

R&D FOR THE WIN Thanks to a labor force that includes 100,000 veterans, plus the largest port in Florida and two nearby international airports, St. Pete/Clearwater is a well-positioned home base for technology firms Tech Data and Jabil Circuit, while defense and aerospacesector firms General Dynamics, GE Aviation, Honeywell International, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin have divisions in the region as well. With 98 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S

industry leaders Nielsen Media Research, Valpak and Catalina Marketing, the area is becoming a hub for big data. And there’s ABC’s Shark Tank standout Honeyfund, a wedding registry with a twist – it’s for honeymoons — which now makes Clearwater its home.

WINGS AND BRAINS Wings lovers should know that Clearwater was the launching pad for Hooters, which debuted in 1983. Bolstered by a fresh-faced, shortshorted workforce and cheeky marketing, Hooters has grown into a multimillion-dollar enterprise, with restaurants in 29 countries, giving men who should know better (and the women in their lives, good sports all) a great place to enjoy lunch or dinner with a pitcher of beer and a side of ogling. In more cerebral pursuits, online encyclopedia Wikipedia and fact-checking website PolitiFact both got their start in St. Pete and continue to offer curious minds information, or at least, the last word in an argument.

USF ST. PETERSBURG

FEEL THE LEARN St. Pete/Clearwater boasts a number of respected higher-education institutions. The University of South Florida St. Petersburg and the USF College of Marine Science share a 58-acre waterfront campus in downtown St. Pete. USFSP ranks high in the state and nationally for its online MBA program. USFCMS has been instrumental in studying the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Across the street is the nonprofit Poynter Institute for Media Studies, which teaches journalism in the digital age. The private Eckerd College, on Boca Ciega Bay, is one of only 40 colleges listed in the Colleges That Change Lives guide, and is known for its creative writing, management and international relations programs. Gulfport’s Stetson University College of Law, Florida’s

oldest law school, is ranked first for trial advocacy by U.S. News & World Report. And at St. Petersburg College, students enjoy a lower cost of attendance, and graduates rank tops statewide in starting wages.

St. Pete Beach


FISHING Why mess around? If you want to catch the big ones, reserve your spot now on board Florida’s most productive fleet to the Gulf of Mexico. Bait, ice, gear & help available every trip.

Stay and play. Come stay in one of our spacious guest rooms equipped with microwaves, refrigerators and coffeemakers. Amenities include heated pool, guest laundry, free guest parking and free guest Wi-Fi. Meeting and banquet facilities are available with attentive service by our friendly staff. Located on beautiful St. Pete Beach just southwest of Tampa International Airport.

• No Resort Fees • Complimentary Guest Wi-Fi • Guest Parking – Daily Fee • Hotel Located on 400 feet of Beach Frontage • Boca Sands Grille Restaurant • Flipper’s Beach Bar • Parasailing and Dolphin Watch Trips • On Trolley Route • Located across the boulevard from Dolphin Shopping Center.

4900 Gulf Blvd. • St. Pete Beach 727-360-7011 • 800-237-8916

For reservations, visit dolphinbeach.com or call 727-360-7011

5 HR. HALF DAY • 10 HR. FULL DAY PRIVATE CHARTERS

DOLPHIN WATCH You’ll see dolphin, manatee, ospreys and rare eagles on the area’s best narrated cruise. Your tour also takes you past stately area mansions. Sunset Cruise available with free beer & wine for adults.

FT. DeSOTO FERRY TO BEAUTIFUL EGMONT KEY OR SHELL KEY

Snorkel the ruins of historic Ft. DeSoto and tour a working lighthouse. Walk the streets of a Spanish-American fort or go shelling on America’s #1 beach.

PADDLEBOARDS AND KAYAKS Find Us On: BOOK ONLINE OR MAKE RESERVATIONS AT

HUBBARDSMARINA.COM V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 99


L L A E S T R I N E E H PP

18 •19

SEASON

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HAMILTON National Tour. Photo by Joan Marcus.

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Othello • National Geographic Live Les Misérables • Hundred Days Neil DeGrasse Tyson • A Bronx Tale Hamilton • Mayumana • Havana Cuba All-Stars • LaChanze • The Pearl Fishers Whiffenpoofs • Tap Dogs • Storm Large Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo Late Nite Catechism • Dear Evan Hansen Spamilton • La Bohème • Anastasia David Sedaris • Kinky Boots Come From Away • Rock of Ages The Lightning Thief • Constellations and more!

THE STRAZ THE CENTER OF IT ALL DOWNTOWN TAMPA

813.229.STAR (7827) • STRAZCENTER.ORG Group Sales: 813.222.1016 or 1047 Events, days, dates, times, performers and prices are subject to change without notice. Handling fees will apply. *Select shows may go on sale at a later date. Check STRAZCENTER.ORG.

100 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S


BEST NE

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MUSEUM TAMPA B

AY MAGAZ

2018

INE

a Museum where creativity and innovation come together to create an unparalleled collection of over 500 world class glass sculptures.

PLAY WHERE THE PROS PLAY Reward yourself and your family with a staycation to Innisbrook. Tee off on four championship golf courses, hit the courts at our tennis center, rejuvenate

*(ARTIST FROM LEFT TO RIGHT) LATCHEZAR BOYADJIEV; PAUL STANKARD; JOSÃ&#x2030; CHARDIET; WILLIAM LEQUIER

at our blissful spa, and enjoy a variety of delectable dining options. Contemporary Studio Glass from the 1960s to present

OPEN DAILY Visit InnisbrookGolfResort.com or call 833.755.6533 to book your Palm Harbor, Florida escape.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday 10am - 5pm Thursday 10am - 8pm Sunday 12pm - 5pm PALM HARBOR, FL

SalamanderHotels.com

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT WWW.IMAGINEMUSEUM.COM 1901 CENTRAL AVE., ST. PETERSBURG, FL 33713 | 727-300-1700

V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 101


AQUARIUM VisitSPC.com/Winter

With its mission to rescue, rehabilitate and release injured sea life, Clearwater Marine Aquarium believes in environmental education and conservation. For visitors, it’s about learning with a big splash of fun.

Your kids can probably tell you about the Clearwater Marine Aquarium – it’s where Winter and Hope, stars of the hit Dolphin Tale movies, were rescued and brought back to health. Step inside and you’ll see that this is so much more than just an aquarium! The aquarium is also a marine rescue hospital, where medical staff and volunteers work around the clock. And while it is internationally recognized for its work with dolphins, the aquarium’s unparalleled success with sea turtles is more important than ever, aquarium CEO and director David Yates said. Record numbers of turtles lay their eggs along the St. Pete/Clearwater beaches. “Sea turtles are the primary recipients of care at the aquarium,” Yates said. “Our volunteers patrol 26 miles of nesting beach from Caladesi Island to St. Pete Beach from early May through October.” In summer, adult turtles can be struck by boats or get ensnared in fishing lines. In winter, very cold water

SEA TURTLE RELEASE WINTER & HOPE

CLEARWATER MARINE AQUARIUM

can cause fatal “cold stun.” The aquarium is ready with a high-tech surgical suite and holding pools. Even tiny creatures find rehabilitation. In 2018, Frito, a 2-inch seahorse, was tangled in fishing line off the coast. The staff cared for Frito until it could be released. In 2017, two other seahorses — Cheeto and Funyun — were also rescued, treated and released. They join dozens of animals saved by the aquarium. Only animals that cannot survive in the wild remain. In addition to ongoing programs, “Sometimes you can see surgeries going on live through the windows of the operating room … it’s totally amazing,” Yates said. And for visitors who want to experience all that the aquarium offers, it’s a whole lot of fun, too. Watch Winter and Hope in their pool or peek at them through an underwater tunnel. Visit sea turtles, otters, sharks, stingrays and various other species. Guided boat tours explore nearby waters.

SEAHORSE RELEASE


Spend an hour, an afternoon, or make a day of it …

It’s all happening on Corey Avenue!

Dining

Art Galleries • Unique Boutiques Home Furnishings • Accessories Salon and Spa Services Wine, Dine, Unwind...and so much more!

Boutiques

You’ll Find it on

Quarterly Art Shows and Festivals. Go to CoreyAve.com for more information

Local Art

You’re in

GREAT COMPANY The Vanderbilts, the Studebakers, the Du Ponts. Even Babe Ruth, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison. They’ve all retreated to this historic property on the Gulf to make memories with friends, family, and colleagues. And now, you will too. 2 5 B E L L E V I E W B O U L E VA R D 727.674.4127

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VISIT WINTER THE DOLPHIN, STAR OF DOLPHIN TALE MOVIES SEE RESCUED DOLPHINS, SEA TURTLES, PELICANS AND MORE. WORKING ANIMAL HOSPITAL BEHIND THE SCENES TOURS INTERACTIVE BOAT TOURS

RESCUE. REHAB. RELEASE INCLUDES 5 ATTRACTIONS:

Plan your visit at SeeWinter.com 249 WINDWARD PASSAGE, CLEARWATER FL 33767 727-441-1790

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citypass.com SOLD HERE

Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay, The Florida Aquarium, ZooTampa at Lowry Park, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) OR Chihuly Collection

Pricing and programs subject to change; visit citypass.com for details. Photo: 2018 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved.


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Paradise, reputation and reliability since 1981.

Art Gallery

Experience the flavor of Greece

and the excitement of an authentic working waterfront on the Sponge Docks of Tarpon Springs, Florida. Greek restaurants, bakeries, seafood, sponge diving, shops and tour boats make this waterfront destination unique.

Tarpon Springsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Historic Downtown offers restaurants, craft breweries, art, antiques and eclectic boutiques.

800-535-7776 or 800-421-6663 JCRESORTS.US Destination- St Pete/Clearwaterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s award winning beaches. All beachfront properties, fantastic views and everything the Tampa Bay Area has to offer. Come...find your paradise.

Visit our website to select your favorite! 17200 Gulf Blvd., N. Redington Beach, FL 33708

Tarpon Springs is also the home of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, host of the largest Epiphany celebration in the western hemisphere. This traditional Greek community is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was voted the #1 Historic Small Town 2018 USA Today.

Only 20 Minutes from Clearwater Only 45 Minutes from Tampa Only 2 Hours from Orlando

Tarpon Springs Tampa Tampa International Airport

Clearwater St. PetersburgClearwater International Airport

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EVENTS Up-To-Date List at VisitSPC.com/Events

SAVE THE DATE JAN > Tarpon Springs Epiphany > Treasure Island Kite Festival

FEB > Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival

> Downtown Dunedin Art Festival

> Dunedin Mardi Gras > St. Petersburg Jazz Festival

> Sunshine Music Festival, St. Petersburg

> BMX Gator Nationals, Oldsmar

> East-West Shrine Game, St. Petersburg

> Localtopia, St. Petersburg > Philadelphia Phillies Spring Training, Clearwater

> MLK Day Parade, St. Petersburg

MAY

> Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week > Memorial Day Commemoration, Largo > Taste of Dunedin > Cinco de Mayo at Casa Tina, Dunedin

> GeckoFest, Gulfport > Clearwater Super Boat Races > International Beach Games, Clearwater Beach

JUN > St. Pete Pride Festival > Mad Beach Beer Fest, Madeira Beach

> Baddest BBQ on the Bone Fishing Slam, Madeira Beach > P1 Powerboat Races, St. Pete Beach

OCT > Clearwater Jazz Holiday

> Shine St. Petersburg Mural Celebration > Harbor Sounds Oktoberfest, Safety Harbor > Oldsmar Oktoberfest > Clearwater Beach Chalk Art Festival

MAR

APR

> PGA Golf Valspar Championship, Palm Harbor

> Highland Games, Dunedin > Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival, Clearwater

> Firestone Grand Prix, St. Petersburg

> Bloom N ChalkFest, Safety Harbor > St. Petersburg Seafood & Music Festival

> Tampa Bay Rays Opening Day, St. Petersburg

> Mainsail Art Festival, St. Petersburg > Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, St. Petersburg > Festivals of Speed, St. Petersburg > Pinellas Pepper Fest, Pinellas Park

JUL

AUG

> Tampa Bay Rowdies, St. Pete

> Tampa Bay Lobster Festival, Clearwater

> Dunedin Orange Festival

> Tampa Bay Jeep Fest, Clearwater > Harbor Food & Art Tour, Safety Harbor

> 4th of July Fireworks, Multiple Communities

> The Beer Project at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg

NOV

> Dunedin Wines the Blues > Chillounge Night St. Pete > Ribfest, St. Petersburg > Safety Harbor Wine Festival > Holiday Lights in the Garden, Largo > Sanding Ovations, Treasure Island > Clearwater Beach Uncorked > Suncoast Jazz Classic, Clearwater Beach

106 A M E R I C Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; S B E S T B E A C H E S

CELEBRATIONS ABOUND YEAR-ROUND

> Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training, Dunedin

> AAC Baseball Championship, Clearwater

SEP

> FUN AND DIVERSE

> GeckoFest Art Show and Ball, Gulfport

> Wearable ART, Dunedin

DEC > First Night, St. Petersburg

> Holiday Boat Parades, Multiple Communities > Outback Bowl Clearwater Beach Day > St. Petersburg Holiday of the Arts > Annual Holiday Stroll, Largo


NOW OPEN!

Treasure Seekers:

Conquistadors, Pirates & Shipwrecks Get your tickets at :

tampabayhistorycenter.org

801 Old Water St, Tampa, FL 33602 | 813.228.0097

Where the fun never setsâ&#x20AC;¦ WE SELL DISCOUNTED TICKETS AND OFFER PACKAGES

401 Second St., Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785 | 800-726-0865 | www.hiharbourside.com SUITES & VILLAS WITH FULL KITCHENS | SUITES SLEEP UP TO 6 | MINIATURE GOLF | GAME ROOM ON SITE RESTAURANT | WATER PARK | SWIMMING POOL | SHORT WALK TO THE BEACH | RENTALS AND FISHING CHARTERS V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 107


The New Experience Revealed FALL 2019

#1 Concert Venue in Tampa Bay

#1 Club Venue in Florida

Where The Stars Come To Play!

For a complete listing of shows: RuthEckerdHall.com Pollstar rankings 2018 for gross ticket sales revenue for venues 2,500 seats or less & 1,000 seats or less

REAL Grouper, REEL Fresh! Madeira Bay Resort

(727) 342-7800

Caprice Resort

Gulf Strand Resort

CapriceStPeteBeach.com

GulfStrand.com

(727) 360-6199

MadeiraBayResort.com

(727) 367-2878

TRS VACATION RENTALS

Clearwater Beach & Dunedin Causeway

Gulf Winds Resort

Redington Surf Resort

GulfWindsResort.com

RedingtonSurfResort.com

(727) 391-9051

(727) 367-2131

TRS – Travel Resort Services has been in business on Tampa Bay’s beaches for over 30 years 400 rentals to choose from • 5 staffed resorts / 6 offices • Phones answered 24/7 Resort-like amenities • Heated swimming pools • Studios, 1-, 2- & 3-bedrooms Full kitchens • Many with private balconies, washers & dryers, and free WiFi Pet-friendly units available • Handicapped-accessible units available Full maintenance & housekeeping staff

13030 Gulf Blvd., Madeira Beach, FL 33708

(800) 237-6586

108 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S

5

UNIQUE RESTAURANTS

(727) 393-2534

www.trsinc.com

Earn the Shirt Conquer the Cocktail Challenge ! FrenchysOnline.com


tories, ies. S e h t r o f e Com ith the Memor Leave w

Suites on Clearwater Bay

sleeps 10

Penthouse suite perfect for

weddings & small groups! Chart House Suites & Marina is a boutique hotel located on Clearwater Beach, and features the closest marina to Clearwater Pass. It is walking distance to Clearwater Beach, shopping, restaurants, and nightlife.

Hip, affordable and resolutely casual 196 uniquely designed “surfer chic”rooms weddings & events ~ pet friendly Right on the beautiful sugar sand beaches of St. Pete Beach, the Postcard Inn has everything you need for your vacation. Whether it’s a fun-filled family getaway, a romantic escape, or even a stop on an epic road trip with friends, this is the perfect place to make memories.

6300 Gulf Blvd. | St. Pete Beach | 727.367.2711 | postcardinn.com

• 25 Spacious Studios and Suites • Balconies • Refrigerator

• Microwave & Coffeemaker • Free Parking & Internet Access • Heated Pool Boat Slips

available

850 Bayway Blvd., Clearwater Beach, FL 33767 • 727-449-8007 www.ChartHouseSuites.com

Recapturing Old Florida

The Best of

Clearwater Beach and beautiful sand key

GULFSIDE RESORTS INDIAN ROCKS BEACH

A premier enclave of secluded beachfront cottages and suites recapturing “Old Florida’’ in Indian Rocks Beach. Charm and sophistication await with a heated pool, sea kayaks, beach cabanas, butterfly gardens, bicycles and high-speed internet. Celebrating 30 years of family ownership.

810 Gulf Blvd. • Indian Rocks Beach, FL • 727-596-8063 For reservations, visit GulfsideResorts.com or call 800-597-8063

• Meet • Connect • Relax brilliant memories amplified Clearwater Beach Marriott Suites on Sand Key

1201 Gulf Blvd. | Clearwater Beach | www.marriott.com | 727.596.1100 V I S I T ST PE T E CL E A R WAT E R . COM 109


NOW OPEN IN ST. PETERSBURG Over 30,000 sq. feet of galleries 500 sculptures, paintings & jewelry

DISCOVER A NEW TAKE ON A CLASSIC Elegant, old-world charm meets modern comfort at the newly renovated waterfront hot spot,The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club. Just steps from stylish St. Petersburg, indulge at the chic Vinoy Club Golf Grill, dine on fresh seafood and smokehouse favorites at Paul’s Landing restaurant, play a round of golf or rejuvenate at the day spa. There’s a new Vinoy in town. To reserve your room, visit vinoyrenaissanceresort.com.

THE VINOY ® RENAISSANCE RESORT & GOLF CLUB 501 5th Avenue NE, St Petersburg, FL 33701 t: +1 727.894.1000

Billy Schenck, Oh, You Wanted to See My Guns?

150 Central Ave.

St. Petersburg, FL

thejamesmuseum.org

(727)892-4200

Rates are per room, per night, based on availability, not available for groups of 10 or more rooms.

The perfect family beachfront resort! Offering 154 2 and 3 bedroom suites with living/dining rooms, full-size kitchen with washer and dryer, private balcony facing the beach, free business and fitness center, free reserved parking, free Wi-fi and newspaper, heated pool and whirlpools, walk to John’s Pass Village, shopping and dining!

PROVIDENT

• 24-Hour Front Desk • Restaurant • Tiki Bar • No Resort Fees!

CONDO-RESORTS OF TREASURE ISLAND Treasure Island/N. St. Pete Beach, FL ProvidentResorts.com

12000 Gulf Blvd. • Treasure Island, FL 33706 Toll Free: 866.597.1600 • 727.360.1600 SunsetVistas.com

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

CONDO SIZE SUITES & RESORT AMENITIES UNDER ONE ROOF!

A BOUTIQUE CONDO-HOTEL STEPS FROM THE BEACH Offering 1, 2 & 3 bedroom suites, each with living/dining rooms, full-size kitchens with all major appliances, in-suite washer/dryer and oversized private balconies. Walk to John’s Pass Village, restaurants and shopping! • 24-Hour Front Desk • Heated Pool & Whirlpool Free Parking • Wi-Fi • No Resort Fees

11605 Gulf Blvd. • Treasure Island, FL 33706 Toll Free: 888.360.0037 • 727.360.0037 CrystalPalmsBeachResort.com

SAVE UP TO 20% OFF NIGHTLY RATES, MENTION: VSPCVG 110 A M E R I C A’ S B E S T B E A C H E S

679396-1


The sun sets on your visit, but the love affair has just begun. The sugar-white sand, the welcoming waters, the friendly locals, the flavorful food, the lively culture – they will always beckon. So as you close the book on your visit here, remember: this is not “Goodbye.” It’s only “See you again soon.”


Profile for Times Creative

2019 Gulf To Bay  

Sunsets, Etc.

2019 Gulf To Bay  

Sunsets, Etc.